LETTERS FROM DAVAO
By Jun Ledesma
THE Land Transportation Office has joined the opposition. The only difference is that the officials are more efficient in winning more enemies against the Duterte administration than the likes of VP Leni, Kiko, Trillanes, and the rest of the cabal who had been salivating to oust the President.
The opposition in fact is not lifting a finger and had been very quiet as the LTO top guns are in a free-wheeling imposing atrocious regulatory fees, and from nowhere suddenly resurrected and implemented the long-forgotten child car seat law.
At first, The LTO came out with the imposition of inspection fees on vehicles and penalties if re-inspection fails. Senator Grace Poe came out with her usual criticism. Then came the child car seat regulation. It’s a double whammy, in fact, triple, considering the fact that we are in a pandemic, businesses are closing and people are losing their jobs. Noticing that the opposition had an ally within the government and doing the wrecking job and alienating the people from the administration any way they kept quiet and let the LTO do the job for them.
Nobody complains about inspection fees. But raising the fees when we are in a crisis mode is a classic anathema. Insensitive and idiotic.
As if that was not enough, here comes the resuscitation of the child car seat law for children 12 years old and below. It’s a law authored by J.V. Ejercito which was never implemented. From out of the blue, LTO announced it will be enforced. Suddenly we saw LTO and traffic personnel checking on vehicles. But there was confusion because even the head of the LTO, Clarence Guinto, has cobwebs in his brain. A 12-year old cannot sit on the front seat and neither will he fit in the child seat. In a cavalier manner, he tells motorists to just buy bigger cars. My gosh, if President Rodrigo Duterte is looking for a clown, there is someone within his beck and call. He can ask DOTR Sec. Art Tugade to summon one.
Director Guinto is oblivious to the moves of the government to dispense or suspend fee increases in both public and private enterprises. Sen. Bong Go, who has the eyes and ears of the President, earnestly appeals to Meralco to go slow on their disconnection notice. He pleaded to impose price control on vital food commodities. Now he asks LTO to put a brake on the child car seat directive and the imposition of fines. Perhaps Guinto should concentrate on solving the problem of why it takes years to issue car plates and why we pay for registration stickers and not getting one.
Guinto should rein-in whatever he plans to do. In the case of the child car seat law, there was not even a bit of information about how, when, and what the law is. It is a law only for a particular segment - private vehicle owners. How can one take along a 12-year old child and below for travel onboard a jeep, bus, and tricycle? There’s still a great debate but maybe Director Guinto can tell us how to comply. Hope he will not say, "go buy a flying saucer".
About the Columnist
Mr. Jun Ledesma is a community journalist who writes from Davao City and comments from the perspective of a Mindanaoan.