Starting this month, bus drivers and conductors will be paid regular salaries, instead of commissions from every trip they complete.
Hopefully, it will be enforced strictly so Edsa and other major roads will no longer be race courses for drivers trying to beat each other—literally sometimes, and to death, if necessary—to get to every single commuter lining the route.
Hopefully, too, now that they have to pay monthly wages, bus operators will be more careful in choosing people who will operate those big machines. What a driver’s license says of a person’s ability should be put to the test. Being able to get a bus in and out of the terminal does not mean he/she is capable of operating that vehicle on public roads, that he/she knows what traffic signs and signals and those painted lines on streets mean.
A friend’s former driver straddled the painted lane divider, instead of driving between two of them, believing that was the right way to drive—the divider should be under the car.
As I have said before, many Filipinos think they can drive a motor vehicle if they can turn on its engine and get it in and out of the garage. They also think that being able to drive a jeepney means they can drive anything with an engine—a bus, a truck with or without a trailer, heavy equipment machinery and, if they get a chance, probably even a train and an airplane.
People are issued licenses even if they cannot read road signs. I even suspect some drivers can hardly read. Just look at the way they ignore one-way, no entry and other signs.
A reader wants to call the attention of the operator of Ashton Taxi with license plate UVT 734, whose driver was extremely rude. She says she took the taxi on June 29 and asked to be brought to Pasig Line in Santa Ana, Manila, a place she is unfamiliar with. When she could not give him directions, the driver started yelling at her and told her to get out of the taxi. Although she says she did not say anything bad, he told her she should not treat drivers with disdain because they actually had more money than her.
The reader hopes government agencies—the Land Transportation Office, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, whichever office should have jurisdiction over the case—will do something. She adds, “Why can’t MMDA step in to help passengers take action against erring and rude drivers?”
I often commend Director Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection for immediately acting on complaints from consumers. Government agencies actually do not have to threaten erring establishments and/or businessmen with anything. A letter from a regulatory agency asking them to reply to citizens’ complaints already puts them on notice that someone is watching.
Most consumers simply want acknowledgment that their complaint is being heard and attended to even if the answer is not what they want to hear. Unfortunately, many establishments would not even give you the courtesy of a repIy. I e-mailed the service centers of electric fan manufacturers Iwata and Hanabishi but never got a response. I was not even complaining. I only wanted information.
Global Destiny Cable announced that clients could e-mail them to ask for copies of new programs and channels. After more than a month, I still have to hear from them.
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]