Friday, February 4, 2011
Last Wednesday, I decided to renew my driver's license since it will expire on my birthday next week. I figured I renew early to avoid the penalty I paid two years ago when I renewed late and to prepare for a penalty charge which I think will be traced to my MMDA apprehension last June 2009. I decided to proceed to the renewal center at Farmer's Plaza in Cubao, Quezon City which was nearest to my office and my residence. Upon getting the renewal form, I was instructed to proceed to the medical laboratory next door and have my medical and drug test. The following are the fees:
Medical Test - Php 100.00 (Blood pressure, Eye check up, weight, height, etc.)
Drug Test - Php 300.00 (Urine test)
Total Laboratory Fees: Php 400.00
Medical test was finished in about 15-20 minutes and I immediately got the result to proceed to my license renewal. Upon submitting the form, I was informed that there was a notice from MMDA that I am supposed to settle before my license renewal. It was already past three in the afternoon so I was advised to go to MMDA the next day.
The following day, after punching in at the office, I proceeded to the MMDA head office in Makati to settle the penalty. I arrived a little past ten and I got 220 as my number. The cut-off was number 350 and judging by the line outside the office, I think they will reach 350 by 1 pm. I filled out the clearance form and paid Php 30.00 for the clearance fee. After an hour and 30 minutes, finally my name was called. I was informed to pay the fee (Php 150.00 - my apprehension charge) and I was not charged any other fees. Frankly, I was expecting penalty fees to reach Php 500 but to my relief, there was no additional fees. After paying the fee (was in line for 20 minutes), I was told to wait again for my clearance certificate. It came out after another 15 minutes (which was already past lunch time) and I decided to proceed to the license renewal LTO office to submit the clearance form. Upon reaching the renewal office, the LTO staff, just took a 5-minute look at my MMDA clearance and proceeded with the renewal.
I was told to pay the renewal fee of Php 417.00 and wait for my new license. In ten minutes, I got my new license and went back to my office. Here are the fees I paid to renew my license:
Medical Test - 100.00
Drug Test - 300.00
Renewal Fee - 417.00
Total - Php 817.00
Medical and Drug Test : 20-30 minutes (depends on the number of clients)
License Renewal: 15 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Unfortunate MMDA license clearance: 2 hours
Lessons learned: If apprehended by MMDA, ask a ticket and immediately pay penalty fees at Metrobank within 7 days to avoid spending precious time at the MMDA office to get a license clearance.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Archbishop Oscar Cruz grabbed the limelight again with an announcement that 2 groups are working to replace President Noynoy Aquino because of incompetence. The bishop is well known to be an advocate of anti-jueteng operations of government officials but this time, he centered his advocacy on warning the current president that groups are eying to replace him.
To put this into perspective, this is an alarming situation. After 7 months of presidency, people are already calling PNoy as an incompetent president. How is this possible? What are their grounds? Here are a few which was stated at http://ph.news.yahoo.com:
1. Deterioration of peace and order in the country (gauged by the recent killings and car napping incidents and bus bombing)
2. The stalling of the Truth Commission which was supposedly made to go after corrupt official specially during the last administration.
3. Questioning of the 21 Billion conditional cash transfer (CCT) - giving subsidies or allowances to poor people who can not afford to eat at least 3 times a day
Are these issues enough to say that the president is incompetent? How about news of his purchase of a second hand Porsche car and his use of his brother in law's Lexus SUV? Or his failed dates and romance with single women?
Truly, 7 or 8 months is too early to say that a person, much more a president is incompetent. What must a president do within a year to prove that he is competent? Is it fair to him to be judged this early even after the huge mess left to him by his predecessor?
Archbishop Cruz warning must be taken seriously by the president because it is the first sign that his people are beginning to get bored and impatient. Filipinos want instant results no matter how things are done and they are the ones to criticize first if a project or job is poorly executed because of haste. Can we be more patient for a change? Can we just support our leader and do what we must in our own lives?
The bishop has clearly gone overboard this time. What happened to the church teachings that people should not judge others in order not to be judged themselves? Or the separation of the church and state (government)? Or just the simple phrase of "Patience is a Virtue".
President Noynoy needs all the help he can get and not statements made too early evaluating his presidency. How about asking Bishop Cruz regarding the church projects to help the poor and educate them to control themselves to practice abstinence to help prevent the increase of population?
What happened to the church's "Pondo ng Pinoy"? How many families benefited from this project? Does the church have scholarship programs to give poor people a chance to study at prestigious catholic schools? How many children have benefited if there is a scholarship project? Does the church have health programs for the poor to help them receive proper health care to hospitals other than government-owned institutions? How about shelter? Does the church help in building basic houses to help improve poor communities? Does the church control Gawad Kalinga? How many families benefited from this project? Do local parishes provide jobs to unemployed individuals? Do they give government mandated minimum wages?
Archbishop Cruz, can we just ask you to help? Or maybe focus on your drive to eradicate jueteng in our country. Were you able to name the bigwigs of the jueteng industry? Have you already collected hard evidences to eventually send them to jail? How many politicians did you identify to be jueteng lords and sent to jail?
You are a Filipino Archbishop and we also expect you to be a good leader, much more a competent one.