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Ronald Roy — April 14, 2016

Two weeks ago, I was driving along E. Rodriguez Ave. towards Cubao when, needing to re-fuel, I turned left to enter a Petron gas station. After I turned off my engine, a cop parked his motorcycle alongside my Altis 16, stood outside my door and raised his black jacket’s waistband to intimidatingly show his sidearm. I lowered my widow, greeted him and asked what I could do for him.

With his collar folded up ala James Dean and broad dark glasses conveniently covering his features, the hoodlum-like kotong cop gruffly barked: “Bayoleisyon (violation) ka! Anong trabaho mo?!” Aha…this guy was looking forward to a hearty lunch with a riding-in-tandem woman-cop! No, I had not violated any traffic rule, and I calmly asked him to cite what rule he claimed I had violated. He couldn’t reply.

Losing my cool
But he was insistent. So, I explained in Tagalog that I was a lawyer and fully retired at 80. He retorted: “E, ano ngayon kung abogado ka ?!” Loosing my cool, I then barked back at him in English — It really works if you do it in English. — ” Look here, you nincompoop, show some respect for someone who pays you your salary! You’re a disgrace in that uniform! Blah.. blah..blah..€£%!¥ !

At this point, a senior PNP officer who had witnessed everything stepped forward, saluted me, and said, “Don’t worry, sir, I’ll take care of this.” He ordered Bert, the kotong cop, to follow him to his office, and I then proceeded to purchase a tankful of unleaded gasoline. There are countless other Bert’s who last April15 hopefully saw the beginning of the end of their kotong days; that is, if a new regulation called “no contact apprehension” (NCA) will be successfully implemented.

The NCA project aims at strategically deploying as many high-definition CCTV units as are deemed necessary in certain streets in Metro Manila, in order to obtain digital evidence of such traffic violations as counter flows and over-speeding. When a violator renews his vehicle’s registration or driver’s license, the same will not be issued if he does not pay a corresponding fine. He is of course allowed an opportunity to dispute the charge leveled against him. But then, how does one argue against an electronic gadget called CCTV?

NCA can succeed here
While the NCA system has proven to be a success in many cities abroad, it however remains to be seen how satisfactory its results here will be, given the ever-increasing number of vehicles that cause road accidents, congestions, travel delays, cancellation of appointments — all of which trigger road rage, ill health, the slackening of the economy and all the consequential syndrome of a deteriorating society.

The root cause of all this misfortune, it was once joked, is irresponsible coitus…hahaha…but then maybe we shouldn’t laugh! Read up on Malthus, the supreme supply-and-demand authority whom clergymen shouldn’t ignore in their campaign for bringing food to every poor family’s table.

In any event, if only because Filipino drivers are probably the most undisciplined in the world, let’s welcome the NCA program. Surely, however, problems will crop up in the course of its implementation. In particular, for instance, I have in mind the so-called “yellow box” that’s painted on the road for the purpose of keeping an intersection open. Well, in bumper-to-bumper situations of vehicles coming from all sides, I don’t see how NCA can be enforced without tempers flaring up.

Future benefits seen
NCA may be providential, in that it will harness a sense of urgency to quell a traffic conundrum that has been rapidly spreading like a forest fire. There is no question that pretty soon the drawing up of a master plan for motorcycle traffic control will be a matter of time. Then after that, why not a program for instilling discipline among pedestrians?

Ultimately, the imperative resort by government to decongestion must be tackled. A herculean determination will be needed to develop new communities to accommodate the burgeoning population. It has been estimated that it will take at least a decade before we see some substantial benefits. Well, patience is the price of success…so let’s get on with getting rid of those kotong cops first.

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com
musingsbyroy.wordpress.com @ronald8roy

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