A FEW weeks ago, I read in a daily newspaper that the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will be requiring drivers to take an exam as a prerequisite for renewal of licenses.

I see LTO’s move as a very welcome development. At present, the country has numerous reckless drivers, especially those driving public utility vehicles.

In Metro Manila, a lot of public utility vehicle drivers, particularly jeepney drivers, really do not understand the responsibility that comes with commandeering a motor vehicle. As an example, due to wanton disregard for law and order or just plain lack of common sense, some of these drivers just stop in the middle of the road to load or unload passengers, which is risky. It does not only obstruct traffic, but it also endangers the life of the passengers.

Another example is their “snake” driving. They drive as if they were on a fire truck or on an ambulance answering an emergency call. Drivers of public utility vehicles, drivers of private vehicles included, as a general rule, are not allowed to do that. The first thing that should come into their minds is the safety of their passengers, who should all reach their destination in one piece and unscathed.

In like manner, private vehicle drivers will also be put under scrutiny. Some of these drivers are really not qualified since they just bribed their way toward a license.

When I watch news reports, I sometimes see aerial footages of the traffic in the metropolis. It’s just disheartening to see very few straight lines of vehicles. More often than not, one vehicle tries to sneak into the lane of another, while another vehicle occupies two lanes, or two vehicles try to fit in on a single lane.

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National Artist Ang Kiukok rests brush, 74

It just shows the lack of discipline and patience of a lot of Filipino drivers.

Only a few weeks ago, traffic worsened when the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) enforcers decided to “take it easy.” Opportunists that they are, traffic went haywire. The reason: there is no law, if there is no one who will implement it.

I was dismayed at how these irresponsible drivers reacted. With or without the MMDA enforcers, a driver is not authorized to break the law. The incidents just showed that the country has not only too many stupid drivers, but also barbaric citizens.

With the program, I hope that there will be less of chaos and anarchy on the roads, and more of discipline and order on the highways and byways of the country.

Well, I just hope that the program will be implemented faithfully. No more fixers and no more briberies, please.

***

As the end of May approaches, another volume of the Varsitarian will become history.

At this point, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the publication’s outgoing staff members for their contributions to the Varsitarian.

To Mykel, Elka, Tina, Cha, Deni, Libay, Dino, Rheeno, and Mikoy, I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Thanks for everything that you have shared with the Varsitarian people.

To Nick, whatever calling you will answer, I’ll always be around to lend a hand and support you. You are not only a cousin to me, but also a brother and a great friend.

Once a ‘V’ staffer, always a ‘V’ staffer.

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