I am always happy to visit Davao because the city reassures me that Filipinos can learn discipline if rules and regulations are strictly implemented. Drivers follow speed limits, smokers stay in designated areas, and garbage is not a landmark.
A couple of days ago, I had to tell a friend’s driver, who was supposed to pick me up, that my place would be close to a pile of uncollected garbage. The trash in Manila has become a symbol of decay that there are suggestions to find another national capital.
Also in Manila, nobody seems to follow one-way, no-left/no-right turns and other traffic signs anymore. Likewise, the city appears to be Metro Manila’s designated smoking area—both drivers and passengers of public utility vehicles openly puffing on their cigarettes as soon as they enter its territory.
I have received complaints from people that some establishments also do not strictly enforce the smoking ban.
A recent report in a newspaper (not the Inquirer) described Manila as the “primate city.” Was it simply inadvertence or was the writer implying something?
Not quite convenient
For our Davao trip, we decided to avail ourselves of AirAsia’s online check-in, thinking it would spare us the inconvenience of standing in line to get our boarding passes. The budget airline’s website said a baggage drop-off/document check would be available for those who availed themselves of the service.
But it seemed the baggage drop-off had not been set up yet at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 4, a.k.a. the old domestic airport. To check in our bags, we were still expected to stand in line with all the other passengers even if we already have our boarding passes.
Fortunately, an AirAsia ground crew, Rex Bamba, realized how ridiculous it was for people who had availed themselves of the web check-in to still stand in line with the rest of the passengers.
He took the initiative to check in our luggage. Thank you, Rex!
Airport parking fees
A reader wrote to complain about the recent increase in parking fees at Naia Terminal 2. He said that when he had to travel by air, he would usually leave his car at the airport parking lot.
“The overnight parking fee used to be P50 per day which, I would say, was reasonable and fair,” he noted. In November, when he had to go abroad, he left his car at the Naia for 11 days and paid P550.
He said he did not see any announcements at the parking area about an increase in rates, nor did he read anything in the newspapers.
Last month, he said he parked his car again at the Terminal 2 lot. He was informed that he would have to pay P300 per day this time. He was away for five days and had prepared P1,500 for parking fee. To his surprise, he was charged P1,650.
“If I took a taxi, it would have cost me less than half that amount,” he said. “It would have taken me directly to the terminal…and my car would have been safe in my garage.”
He tried to contact somebody to ask about the new rates, and was able to reach a certain Merissa Toriano (he did not say what agency she represented). But she could not give him any details about the new “exorbitant (an increase of more than 600 percent) parking fees.”
And how was the increase announced? He said Toriano told him it “was announced properly on Facebook.”
“Is that fair?” he asked.
Perhaps airport authorities can answer that question.
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 [email protected]