It had to take several serious crimes committed by felons posing as taxi drivers before government agencies finally acted on what should have been a basic requirement: drivers’ identification cards displayed prominently and easy to read.
Issuance of IDs to cab drivers is long overdue. In fact, all drivers of public utility vehicles should display their IDs so passengers can identify them if they have to file complaints.
Taxi drivers are happy and proud to display their new IDs. The legitimate ones, as they tell me when I board a cab, have been adversely affected by the sins of a few.
Many people, who in the past would not hesitate to hail a cab on the street, have become more wary. Heightened suspicion, of course, means less income for the true hardworking drivers.
In our office, the traumatic experience of an employee has prompted our security guards, on the advice of the Makati Police, to ask to see drivers’ licenses every time somebody has to take a cab.
Most drivers do not mind the procedure, knowing the guards are just being careful. A few complain, telling the guards they are overstepping their bounds. When that happens, we also refuse to board the cab.
People who do not mind paying a booking fee and who use smartphones can get a ride through Grab or Easy Taxi or even Uber.
But to wage earners who find taking a cab a luxury, the booking fee was an unwelcome, additional expense.
Let us just hope that the IDs remain reliable proofs of identity, issued only to legitimate drivers.
I have learned to be skeptical of such a security measure by the government, knowing that it is so easy to buy legitimacy in this country. As I have said before, for the right price you can probably get licensed as a jet pilot without even seeing the inside of a plane.
A man was going around our neighborhood recently claiming to be a representative of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) sent to check if liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanks met standards.
He carried a folder of documents with the DTI logo prominently displayed.
I told him that I knew for a fact that DTI would not be sending inspectors to individual households. They checked compliance in factories, not people’s homes.
I do not think even city fire protection people do house-to-house LPG checks.
I advised my neighbors not to let him in, as I did not think he was really from DTI. But I also e-mailed DTI’s Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection to verify the man’s claim and to advise the public on what to do.
I will publish their reply in a subsequent column.
The annual plant and garden show of the Philippine Horticulture Society Inc. (PHSI) opens on Jan. 23 at the Tropical Garden, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City.
The Hortikultura Extravaganza, with the theme “Yaman sa Paghahalaman,” is part of Quezon City’s 75th anniversary celebration.
One of the interesting items on display is the exotic blue variety of the Tassel Fern, said to be native to Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra.
PHSI president Dorie S. Bernabe said this year’s show will feature a Floral Floats Parade patterned after Davao’s Kadayawan and Baguio’s Panagbenga, international trade show, landscape and ornamental plant competition, horticulture congress, dog and and other pets show, farm and garden tours and commercial exhibits.
Check out the schedule of seminars and lectures so you can learn how to have a greener home even if space is limited.
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