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Baguio City in danger of deadly landslides, too


LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Therefore the Lord’s anger burns against His people; His hand is raised and He strikes them down. The mountains shake, and the dead bodies are like refuse in the streets. Yet for all this, His anger is not turned away, His hand is still upraised…” (Isaiah 5:25, the Holy Bible)


EXPRESSWAYS, KEY TO COUNTRY’S PROGRESS: Truly praiseworthy are the people who conceptualized and then concretized and pursued the construction of TPLEX, or the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union  Expressway, which runs from Tarlac City and, based on my own experience this All Saints’ Day 2018 which saw me and my family trekking to Baguio City, is already completed and being used for travel up to Pozzurubio, Pangasinan already.

Travel was super fast, from Manila to Baguio City, and vice versa. I am praying that God will prod the people behind TPLEX to complete the planned construction of the expressway up to Rosario, La Union, before the Holy Week season of 2019. The new highway is a big help to people travelling to and from the Ilocos Region, because of a greatly-decreased travel time. I am certain more progress will come to the Ilocandia Region because of this. Congratulations!


DRIVERS WITHOUT DISCIPLINE MUST BE PERMANENTLY DEPRIVED OF THEIR LICENSES: The way I see it, one of the biggest causes of slow-moving traffic at NLEX, or the North Luzon Expressways (which starts from Balintawak, Quezon City and ends in Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga), and SCTEX, or the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, are the accidents involving wayward motorists.

Why do accidents happen at the expressways? Because, most of the time, drivers lack even the most basic discipline. First, while they are driving through the expressways, their front bumpers would already be kissing, literally and figuratively, the rear end of the next vehicle. There is no space between the vehicle these ill-disciplined drivers are driving and the vehicle in front of them. This is the reason why during a sudden emergency, there is no longer any room for any safety maneuver.

Second, many of these drivers are fond of cutting in and out of their lanes (even when road signs as big as their cars are posted on the sides of the highways saying they should not change their lanes). Why are they doing this? To be able to drive past all other motorists and reach their destinations much ahead of everyone. This would often cause miscalculations on the part of other drivers, which give rise to accidents. I suggest that these lousy drivers be deprived of their licenses permanently.


MOTORISTS GAWKING AT ACCIDENTS ON EXPRESSWAYS MUST BE DEPRIVED OF LICENSES: Too, after accidents happen in these expressways, drivers from other vehicles would deliberate slow down their speed, or stop altogether, just to take a look. Because their speed slowed down or because they totally stopped just to take a look, other drivers would naturally slow down or stop, too. These kinds of drivers should likewise be deprived of their licenses on a permanent basis.

Be that as it may, I congratulate the owners of TPLEX, SCTEX, and NLEX because, for the very first time, I experienced a world-class service at their toll gates. Tellers accepted toll payments really fast, and even delivered with dispatch any money representing the difference between the toll fee and the bigger amount paid by the motorists. This was the reason why, contrary to earlier incidents, I saw no long queues at the booths. You're good, folks!


BAGUIO CITY IN DANGER OF DEADLY LANDSLIDES, TOO: There is an urgent lesson to be learned by the government, whether at the national or at the local level, on the landslide that killed 13 people after they were buried alive by tons of mountain soil while they were seeking refuge inside the building of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) at Bgy Natonin, Mt. Province.

The lesson should be simple enough: the forests in our country today have become so denuded and sorely lacking in trees, like the denudation and lack of trees that are happening in Mt. Province nowadays, and there are just too many people who have put up their houses or other residential structures in those areas without any regard to environment destruction. This was what I also saw in Baguio City from November 2 to November 4, when my brothers and I, and our families, visited the city.

Some kind of a creeping fear gripped my body because I saw that Baguio City’s aforesaid condition is a tragedy waiting to happen, a sure recipe for disaster all over again. If city officials and national agencies of the government involved in environment safety will not act now, what happened in Bgy. Natonin, and at Bgy. Kibungan, Benguet a few years back, may happen in Baguio City, too, God forbid!

Unfortunately, the greater tragedy here, it would seem, is the lack of interest of people claiming to be leaders and officials of the place.


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