By NIMROD NL QUIÑONES
The Philippines has the longest Christmas season, which is probably the reason why the government officials refuse to remove these mendicants on the streets.
They used to be in Cebu City only, now you see them even in the cities of Mandaue and Talisay.
While I pity most of these poor souls, I make it a point never to give them anything because that is tantamount to encouraging them to continue to be hazards on our roads. They are not only putting their lives at risk, but also that of the motorists.
There are also several of these people, who seem to believe that people are obligated to give them something for their out of tune music or carols, which they don’t even understand.
I saw a boy in Mandaue, who showed all those who refused to give him anything his fist. While the children may be our future, some are demonstrating how sad our future looks if their acts will continue to be tolerated by indifferent government officials.
So, who will something be done about this problem? The answer is, just like in the previous years, when something major happens.
My first wish for the year is that our streets will be rid of these beggars and that they be put some place where the sick and those too young can be properly cared for and those who are capable of working would be given a chance to earn a decent living.
While driving to the city yesterday, I noticed that there are triskads even on the highway.
What happened to Cebu City’s claim as the premiere city of the south? Yes, we have buildings rising all over the place and we have first-class hotels, shopping centers, and hospitals, but these pedal-powered vehicles on the main thoroughfares is just simply not what people would expect from a premiere city.
My wish is for the city to remove these trisikads from the highways so our roads would be safer for all users.
I cannot also forget my long-time wish to see barangay, town, and city leaders who would not allow tents to be used to block the roads just because somebody died and the only place to accommodate the mourners/gamblers/drinkers are the roads.
These so-called leaders continue to believe that they are doing public service by allowing the use of these tents, but disallowing their use would be a much better way to serve the people.
There are also wishes for smoother traffic flow in places like Banilad, Escario, Fuente Osmeña, Gen. Maxilom, and many other areas around Cebu City.
The traffic flow on the Cebu South Road is also bad especially from Basak to Bulacao, Cebu City.
Some people have been asking me about the traffic situation in Minglanilla, where I live and I have told them that not much seems to have been done about the matter.
I wish for government officials who would find ways to help ease our traffic woes.
The simplest and cheapest solution to the traffic problem is still the proper implementation of the laws for vehicle registration and licensing by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
If the LTO will not do its job, no matter how brilliant our urban planners are, the problem will not be solved.
I am sure many would say that these wishes will never come true.
I am still very much in touch with reality, but I wish for these to happen as I continue to believe that there is hope for the Filipino people.
Maybe we don’t get to elect the good leaders, maybe we tolerate corruption and encourage it in some ways, but there is a chance that the future generations can do better.
Let us start now by lining up when we have to line up, not abetting corruption, and following the traffic laws.
These little things can make a big difference if many of us will do them.
MILESTONES: Happy birthday greetings to Auntie Minda Lebumfacil, my niece Aleka L. Manigsaca, Monina Blanco, Ann Momongan, Tito Vildosola Atty. Kay Malilong-Isberto, Col. Jimmy Bernal, and my brother-in-law Michael Addington.
Belated greetings go to my mistah Lt. Col. Leandro Abeleda III, Blanche Regual-Braun, Dr. Alain Señirpida, Dante Orejudos, Pancho Ramirez, Jr., Alain Aliño, my UP Tao sister Dwayne Marie Putong, and Janet A. Montenegro.
More power to all of you!