Special people?

As if they don’t have enough perks and privileges, our congressmen now want special treatment in coping with Metro Manila’s monstrous traffic problem. What traffic enforcer would have the nerve to stop a vehicle with the No.8 license plate? This, even if it’s common knowledge that the No. 8 car plates issued to congressmen have been abused and used even by household members.

House Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas (Ilocos Norte) is drawing a lot of flak in social media for asking traffic enforcers not to accost them while on their way to attend sessions at the Batasan Pambansa in Quezon City. How can the Metro Manila Development Authority traffic enforcers verify whether the congressman he stops is on his way to a House session, a poker session or an assignation with his mistress?

Yes indeed, why should congressmen be accorded special treatment in dealing with the grief suffered daily by ordinary commuters like us? Instead of breaking the law, legislators should enact laws to solve the grinding flow of traffic in the metropolis. What are these laws to ease the traffic? That’s their problem and I’m not about to tell them how to do their job. Slashing the Commission on Human Rights budget to an unrealistic P1,000 a year certainly is not one of them.

Fortunately there are still some congressmen who can think straight like Davao Rep. Karlo Nograles who said the CHR budget, as well as the appropriation for the Energy Regulatory Commission and the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples, will be restored to its original outlay.

“The law is the law,” said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella in conveying President Rodrigo Duterte’s disapproval of Fariñas’ proposal. It was Fariñas who ordered the closing of the House door on congressmen who come late fo sessions. His “you arrive late, you’re marked absent” House rule was welcomed by the tax-paying public. Fariñas must dread the thought that one of these days, he will be the one shut out of the House session hall for arriving late.

Fariñas insists congressmen and senators have parliamentary immunity as he cited the constitutional provision exempting them from arrest for crimes and offenses punishable by less than six years.

Joke lang

It seems not all that President Duterte says should be taken seriously

Duterte admitted that he only invented the bank account number he said Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has in a Singapore bank. This was after DBS bank in Singapore said no such account exists in its file.

This was a serious allegation Duterte should have not made in the verbal exchange with Trillanes. No one is laughing except the international banking community at the nonsense going on in this country.

“Checkmate ka, Duterte,” gloated Trillanes who went to Singapore with a media group to belie Duterte’s claim the senator had secret bank accounts overseas.

Telcos refund pressed

Bayan Muna Representatives Neil Colmenares and Carlos Isagani Zarate are demanding that local telecommunications carriers refund an estimated P17.7 billion to consumers.

The amount was amassed by Globe Telecom, Smart Communications and Digitel from excessive and outrageously high cost of text messaging.

Filipinos are known as the world’s most frequent texters. The business sense of the telcos tell them there’s no need to improve their service since Filipinos are hopelessly addicted to texting.

Aside from the high cost of texting, there is also the dismal delivery of messages. Telco consumer have been complaining about the late delivery of their messages, often an hour late and sometimes not even reaching the intended recipient. One can imagine the tragic consequences of both sender and recipient if the message had been a matter of life and death.

There is so much money being made by these telcos which is why they don’t want a foreign firm to come in and give them competition. Congress should pass a law making this industry more competitive by allowing foreign companies to give subscribers more satisfactory service. The duopoly of Smart and Globe must end if they cannot deliver efficient service at lesser cost.

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