Bag it yourself please!

CTALK By Cito Beltran

Have we become such a nation of Amos and Senyoras that we just stand waiting and watching at the malls or supermarkets for someone to bag our groceries? While I respect the notion that people don’t want to trespass or appear rude by doing someone else’s job, there comes a point when you have to do it yourself and not stand idly by and watch the cashier bag your groceries, which by the way, is also not part of her job description. They do that because you obviously won’t and will end up preventing them from helping the next customer. Baggers are provided as a courtesy and to speed up the check out at the counters. But if there are not enough baggers, like in SM Lipa, we should at least offer to help or bag our own groceries.

If all else fails, I hope that mall managers and supermarket owners will take the initiative of putting up signs to suggest or encourage buyers to bag their own groceries so the people at the back of the line don’t have to wait forever. In addition, the DTI should start checking on the quality of paper bags being offered to replace plastic bags that are now banned in many cities. Those paper bags are such a waste of paper since they are not even strong enough to make it out of huge malls before they fall apart. Aside from being useless, just imagine all the trees cut down to make paper bags that are simply a waste of money and resources. If we are going to take the “ECO bag” campaign seriously then malls and supermarkets like SM should assign special lanes for those who bring their own ECO bags and are willing to bag their own groceries.

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I just learned that NAIA is not alone in terms of flight delays and air traffic congestion. It seems that the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam suffers similar problems as NAIA even though it is at least 20 times bigger than NAIA and seriously more modern in almost every aspect of being an International Airport and a hub for Europe. This summer, Dutch authorities are already concerned about delays and congestions when everybody in Europe will be traveling at one time or another and many passing through Schiphol Airport. Similar as NAIA and Schiphol may seem in their woes, the difference is that KLM the international flag carrier of the Netherlands has reportedly sued or sent the airport authorities a bill for the money they lost during the Dutch school “May holidays” to the inefficiencies or failure of the airport to process passengers speedily in recent months. I got this bit of “news” second hand so I can’t fill in the blanks, but I share it more in terms of what could happen or what would happen if one of the local airlines simply got fed up and sued the NAIA for monetary losses caused by emergency repairs, air congestion and gross inefficiency.

People in the Philippines have gotten so used to giving lame excuses or saying “Sorry” as if that makes everything alright. No it does not and it is time that people are made accountable for the inconvenience, delays and financial loss they cause upon others. I guess this is the reason why the MMDA, Iglesia Ni Cristo, Globe Telecoms and Meralco have started to take people to court. The MMDA has reportedly filed cases against some uncooperative Barangay officials who won’t lift a finger to clear roads of obstructions. The INC has consistently exercised their legal rights against people who for one reason or another offend, ridicule or cast doubts upon their church and their leaders. Globe very recently filed a lawsuit against someone who for the lack of a better word was a constant nuisance to their business and community relations. Of course we all know that Meralco means business against illegal connections and jumpers and only last week they once again raided violators and filed cases against them. On top of all that, some people have filed a case against another former President Benigno Aquino III and I bet you that in a while some of the relatives of the SAF-44 who were butchered in Mamasapano will probably file civil cases and claims against the former President.

From the looks of it, executives and leaders have started to realize that some people including media cannot be counted on for fair play, truth or civility or will constantly push people’s buttons or stretch the limits of people’s patience. We can now expect more and more law suits because that seems to be the only thing that makes people realize that there are boundaries and there are laws we cannot cross or violate. The irony is that only companies, institutions and rich people will file the lawsuits because they are the only ones who can afford the ridiculously high cost of litigation and filing fees. If there is something that Congress should review and correct, it should be the system and cost going to court. It is bad enough to have to go to court to get justice but it’s worse when the Judiciary itself has made the rule of law affordable only for the rich.

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Many of driver-customers of the STAR Tollways are wondering why vehicles have to stop at the Star Toll entry southbound just to get a ticket. Majority of the traffic is coming from one source the SLEX while those coming from Sto. Tomas are already issued a ticket as they go on ramp. People simply find the ticket and booth unnecessary and time consuming.

Several people are calling the attention of the DPWH or perhaps the Mayor of Lipa City to please install traffic lights at two intersections where traffic has become so bad especially when there are no traffic enforcers. One is at the intersection of the Alaminos-Lipa by-pass that crosses the old Laurel Highway and the other is at the Levitown – Jollibee area coming from Balete intersecting Laurel Highway.


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