Many people—this writer included—do not understand why drivers of public utility vehicles are opposing higher penalties for traffic violations.
The solution is simple: Obey traffic rules and regulations to avoid paying fines, large or small. Does their opposition mean they cannot, will not—even do not want to—follow rules?
Do they expect to be exempt from those rules, many of which, if not all, are in place in other countries where drivers are more disciplined and law-abiding? It is probably not the fine that worries the drivers, but the fact that they really have no idea what the traffic rules are and what road signs mean.
Their ignorance of regulations makes them vulnerable to extortion from rogue traffic enforcers who charge them with whatever violation comes to mind.
Our traffic woes will not be solved if motorists do not hesitate to violate rules because fines are set at rates they can “afford.”
Dr. Anthony Leachon, president of the Philippine College of Physicians, said many Filipinos have poor “health literacy.” With the cost of medical care and medicines rising, health literacy is important in promoting prevention so people can avoid huge expenses for curative services.
Leachon, who was a resource person during the recent launch of Watsons Generics’ medicines and supplements, pointed out, among other things, poor compliance with prescriptions and medical regimens due to the patients’ failure to understand their physicians’ instructions.
He stressed the need for pharmacies and pharmacists to help patients, many of whom rely on them to explain what the doctor failed to explain, or what they were too embarrassed to ask.
Health illiteracy prevents people from participating actively in ensuring their own well-being and in speeding up their recovery.
Many of today’s prevalent diseases call for people to be more proactive, as their treatment and management require lifestyle changes and discipline. Being able to afford the best medical care and every doctor’s prescription does not help much if people do not get actively involved in their own cure.
Danilo S. Chiong, head of the health business unit of Watsons Personal Care Stores (Philippines) Inc., said the pharmacy chain, in launching its generics line, want to help educate and empower consumers.
He said the new line would be complemented with continuous training of Watsons’ frontliners—those manning the pharmacies’ counters—who would provide proper counseling and guidance to clients and help them make informed choices from the wide range of options available.
The Watsons Generics line includes maintenance medicines for diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure and cholesterol management, dietary supplements, overall wellness products and many over-the-counter medicines.
I agree that Filipinos still lack education and information on generics. This is why advertisements, like what I heard over the radio recently, are still aired.
In the commercial, a customer asks a pharmacist if a generic product is good. Every question about the item—whether it has enough active ingredients, or is as effective as branded products, or of good quality—is answered by the pharmacist with “siguro” (maybe). But when the customer asks about a branded product, the pharmacist responds emphatically, “Sigurado” (absolutely)!
‘Big Bite’ food fest
If you are in Angeles, Pampanga, this weekend, Oct. 17-19, try to catch the Big Bite! Northern Food Festival at the Marquee Mall. It is not just the cooked items that are interesting. I had a taste of good chili oil and greaseless roasted peanuts.
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