Last week I said it was commendable that Quezon City is concerned about the safety of pedestrians when it lowered the speed limit of vehicles on some streets.
So, I wonder now why the “caring” city government is so determined to close down the Manila Seedling Bank which, because of all the plants and trees it grows, helps clean the air in QC.
Lowering the speed limit on some streets will protect only a few hundred, perhaps a few thousand, people. But protecting or even expanding the city’s green spots will benefit millions—even Quezon City Hall’s own employees, majority of whom, I am sure, are commuters.
While the mayor—who goes from one air-conditioned place to another and travels in an air-conditioned car—may not have to worry about air pollution, ordinary city hall employees and other wage earners, to whom any illness is a major financial burden, will appreciate breathing clean air.
Air pollution can cause serious and chronic health issues. Quezon City can save a lot in medical care expenses if it will help prevent pollution-related ailments by giving its residents as much clean air as possible. The little landscaping the malls do will hardly have an impact on air pollution.
I don’t know how much the city expects to earn in revenues by converting existing green spots into shopping malls and condominiums; but, as experience in other countries show, those earnings are easily wiped out by expenses for medical care.
If the Quezon City government is so eager to have another mall, perhaps instead of dismantling the Manila Seedling Bank, it can get the latter’s management to set up a true plant and garden shopping complex—fix up the whole place, introduce some order by organizing stalls to make it easier for shoppers to find what they are looking for, do some landscaping that will showcase the various plant species available.
I am sure, if asked, the seedling bank vendors can come up with creative ideas to spruce up the place. It can become a major tourist draw.
Quezon City is big. The Quezon Memorial Circle, with its few trees and patches of greenery, cannot clean the city’s air all by itself. And even the circle seems to be gradually losing its plants and trees to new structures.
There are many other areas in the city that can use a little boost. I have heard of one subdivision, where residents do not dare venture out of their gates after 8 p.m. because some unsavory characters have set up residence outside their perimeter. A balikbayan former classmate whose brother lives in this neighborhood has to find alternative quarters if she happens to be out past 8 p.m. with friends.
Rewards as cash
Globe Telecom has announced that subscribers can now use their reward points as cash to redeem and purchase items from its partner-merchants. Items include movie tickets, food and drinks, theme park passes, gas, medicines, etc.
Every point earned is equivalent to P1. A point is earned every time a prepaid subscriber tops up or when a postpaid subscriber uses his/her plan.
Visit www.globe.com.ph/rewards to find out more about this program.
Robinsons Malls’ Your Pocket Change Can Change Lives project has already handed over three clean water systems to the Vincentian Fathers and Daughters of Charity of the Vincentian Mission. Additional systems will be donated this year.
The low-cost clean water systems will be used in shelters for children and poor communities in the country.
The campaign solicited donations of at least P10 from shoppers in the 35 Robinsons Malls nationwide.
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