It is commendable that local governments, like those in the cities of Davao and Quezon, are concerned for the lives and limbs of ordinary pedestrians that they have lowered speed limits on some of their streets.
What they, and others with similar initiatives, should do next is give back the sidewalks to pedestrians to keep them safe.
In Metro Manila particularly, sidewalks are now used for all sorts of things, so that pedestrians walk in the middle of streets. All sorts of structures, even businesses, are allowed on sidewalks.
In Manila itself, several barangay (village) halls stand on sidewalks.
Vehicles are parked on both sides of many streets like Singalong in Manila, where I live. Motorists have to drive in the middle of the two-lane road. The two sides of the street are under two different barangays and each allows vehicles to park on their side.
At great personal risk, commuters are forced to get on and off public utility vehicles in the middle of the street.
And there are ill-mannered motorists who think they are entitled to unimpeded passage on the streets, forcing ordinary commuters to get off at points far from their actual destinations.
The other night, the taxi I was in had to stop almost within an inch of a parked vehicle so that a BMW could pass as I got off. The driver of the expensive car seemed oblivious to the double parking and apparently wanted the taxi to stop where it could not block his way—like about a kilometer away from my apartment.
Sidewalks are also so ill-maintained and very dark at night that pedestrians can either risk breaking a leg or neck tripping over a rough part of the sidewalk, or being run over by a vehicle as they walk in the middle of the street.
Mila Alora was left wondering, on a recent trip to Vienna, Austria, where the Emirates airline’s award-winning service had gone. On her way to Vienna, no stewardess could find the time to help her adjust the air-conditioning vents so that cold air would not hit her face. A fellow passenger had to help her.
Coming home, she was doused with orange juice by another stewardess.
And she said her repeated requests to have her food tray removed so she could go to the lavatory were ignored, until a Filipino stewardess stopped selling duty-free items to help her.
Responding to her complaints, Alexandra Braga of Emirates Customer Affairs assured Alora that her experience was of great concern to the airline and had been forwarded to the concerned cabin crew manager.
Braga added that reports of the incidents had also been sent to senior managers “for internal review and action if appropriate.”
Dr. Iluminada L. Arenas, on the other hand, has questions for Philippine Airlines about the cost of her ticket. Although she paid economy fare for a trip to the US, Arenas said miles earned allowed her to be upgraded to business class, while the return ticket remained coach. She paid P67,196.
But her niece, who bought the ticket, was advised by the ticketing agent to have the return flight also upgraded. However, Arenas was surprised “to learn that instead of upgrading my return ticket, it was rebooked to business class.”
She paid P90,331 “in addition to the P67,196.”
If you want to add new plants to your garden or replace those lost, the Horticulture 2014 Flower and Garden Show will be held Jan. 23-Feb. 3 at Tropical Garden, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City.
This year’s theme is Horticulture for Tourism, Wellness and Livelihood.
Aside from selling a wide variety of plants and garden supplies and tools, lectures will also be conducted.
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