The Consumer

Helmet law should be strictly implemented

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Finally, authorities are implementing the law requiring motorcyclists and their passengers to wear only helmets that passed standards set by the Department of Trade and Industry.

I just hope their diligence in apprehending violators will last and the law does not go the way of many others before it—more honored in the breach. A motorcycle helmet is not a fashion statement, but protective head gear. It can mean the difference between life and death.

Readers’ questions

A nurse from Quezon City has been receiving brochures from a manufacturer of mangosteen-based supplements. She said, although the brochure stated “no approved therapeutic value,” it also included testimonials from people who supposedly benefited from the product.

She also wondered why, if the product was as good as it claimed, its effects were stated with the word “maaaring… (could)” which, to her, suggested that the so-called benefits had not really been established definitively.

“Is this not misleading?” she asked. The Department of Health should probably respond to that.

The same reader has also been getting an “offer” from a psychic. She was told “a series of large and exceptional amounts of money are about to put your life back on the path of happiness.” A check for US$40,000, she was told, was as good as hers.

The letter is rather long and full of “good news.” The recipient is promised her “extraordinary numerological interpretation of the future.”  It sounded to me like one of those e-mails I get quite often from someone who is big-hearted enough to share part of a dictator’s loot with a complete stranger.

Of course, nothing comes from nothing so, to take advantage of her good fortune, the reader was asked to pay P2,000-2,500. The amount asked is really P1,800. The  additional P200 is for shipping. If she wanted her package given top priority, she would have to pay P500, instead of just P200.

The reader said she was tempted by the generous offer but held back because she did not know how she won and because P2,500 “is too big for me to spend on chance.” Good for her.

But I wonder how many have fallen for the promised windfall. As I often say in this column, if something is too good to be true, it usually is.

Another reader wanted to know if it was prohibited to use copies—she said “scanned”—of senior citizens’ IDs. She said she and her husband had their IDs copied because they feared losing the original and having to go through the hassle of getting them replaced.

She said, while the copies were accepted by the drugstore they usually patronized, they were not honored in other places.

I know other people who have also had their IDs copied, leaving the original at home for fear of losing them. I am sure they, too, will be interested in the answer, if authorities would care to clarify.

‘Buko’ in tetra pack

If you like buko juice but cannot always get it  because the ambulant vendors do not get to your place as often as you want, you may want to try Pepsi’s new product, Tropicana Coco Quench. Although the real thing is still the best, the beverage, despite the addition of a little sugar, is a good enough substitute if you cannot get fresh buko, and is better than carbonated drinks.

Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail lbolido@inquirer.com.ph.

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