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    Categories: DeretsahanOpinion

Deretsahan

We never learn our lessons

By Bebot Villar

 

BY the time this column sees print, it will already be 2015! Surely, kabilang sa mga balitang bubulaga sa atin dito sa Pangasinan ay ang bilang ng mga nasaktan dahil sa paggamit ng firecrackers.

As I write this piece, mayroon nang 46 persons ang ginamot sa iba’t ibang ospital in the province since December 22 for various firecracker-related injuries. Ang nakakainis ay 27 sa mga biktima were injured because of “piccolo,” a small firecracker that has long been banned! Nagtatanong tuloy ang ating mga kababayan: Paano nakalusot ito sa mga tindahan ng paputok? Meron na namang natulog sa pansitan, kaya nalusutan?

Under the law, firecrackers that have more than 0.2 grams or 1/3 teaspoon in explosive content, oversized firecrackers or those with short fuses are considered banned. These should be easy for law enforcers to see, if there was the intention to strictly enforce the law.

But aside from looking for banned firecrackers, law enforcers should also enhance their capability in immediately finding those who fired their guns for the New Year revelry. Ilan na rin kasi ang namatay dahil sa stray bullets at ang malungkot, hindi sila nabibigyan ng hustisya dahil hindi naman nahuhuli ang may kagagawan.

In Pangasinan, as of this writing, a man from Balungao was hit by a stray bullet in his thigh. But then again, can the culprit ever be found? Maybe or maybe never!

Mas marami siguarado ang na-ospital after January 1. Marami pa rin kasi sa ating mga kababayan ang di matuto sa mga naging karanasan ng iba. Kahit ilang beses ipakita sa TV ang mga serious injuries, mga batang naputulan ng mga daliri at kamay, mga nabulag at mga namatay dahil sa paputok, they still ignore these believing it could not happen to them.

This is the reason why the Department of Health has been pushing for total firecracker ban in the country. Nguni’t dahil wala pang batas hinggil dito, ang DOH ay nanawagan na lamang sa mga local government units na ipagbawal ang paggamit ng mga paputok sa pagsalubong ng Bagong Taon.

At present, only the cities of Baguio, Olongapo, Davao, Kidapawan, Zamboanga and Muntinlupa ban the use of firecrackers during the New Year merrymaking.

Puwede nga namang maging maingay ang pagsalubong sa New Year kahit walang gamit na paputok! Puwede namang gumamit ng mga lata, takip ng kaldero, torotot at iba pa para lamang mag-ingay bilang bahagi ng tradisyon sa pagsalubong sa Bagong Taon.

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Many families that looked forward to an exciting out-of-town trip to the Pangasinan, Baguio and Ilocos region did not expect to find themselves fending for themselves on the road for as long as 8-11 hours last December 26. What was supposed to be a shorter trip from Metro Manila because of the newly opened section of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) turned out to be a nightmare, with many travellers trapped in traffic jams in the towns of Sison in Pangasinan and Rosario in La Union.

Sabi ng isang opisyal ng TPLEx, naging triple raw ang bilang ng mga motorista that traveled to the north that day. On any ordinary day, 6,000 to 7,000 vehicles pass through TPLEx, but there were 20,000 vehicles on the road almost at the same time!

Halos hindi na rin gumagalaw ang mga sasakyan from Sison hanggang Kennon Road–Rosario junction only because the toll gate at Camp One in Kennon Road can only accommodate one vehicle at a time!

Then, of course, there were the undisciplined, impatient drivers who began occupying the opposite lane after failing to overtake at hindi na pinalusot din ng mga nakalinyang sasakyan.

Sabi pa ng isang traffic police officer, another factor na nag-contribute sa traffic build up is the absence of pit stops inside the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) at TPLEx. The last gas and rest area ay nasa North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) sa may bahaging Pampanga. Resulta? Naging pit stops ang mga gasolinahan at mga kainan sa Pozorrubio at Sison that did not have enough parking spaces!

Sa inaasahang pagdagsa ng mga motorista sa bisperas ng Bagong Taon, may mga paghahanda na ginawa daw ang mga toll way operators and the police.

Among these, the deployment of more ambulant tellers in exit toll gates, particularly sa huling toll gate ng TPLEx sa Pangasinan at sa huling toll gate din ng SCTex sa Tarlac, kung saan naging napakahaba ng pila ng mga sasakyan.

Mas maraming pulis at traffic enforcers na rin daw ang makikita sa Manila North Road mula Urdaneta hanggang Rosario, La Union to ensure na gumagalaw ang traffic at hindi makakaporma ang mga barumbadong mga drivers.

Ganun nga ba ang nangyari?

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Happy New Year po sa ating lahat!

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