That’s the growing suspicion among unhappy taxpayers who think the move to scuttle Senator Sonny Angara’s proposed bill raising the tax ceiling for the 13th month pay and other bonuses from the current P30,000 to P75,000 was deliberate, because it would put a big hole in the 2016 war chest of the BS Aquino government.
Aside from the jaw-dropping fare hikes imposed by the Department of Transportation and Communications for the MRT and the LRT, the Land Transportation Office has also announced the additional payment of P450 for new license plates when you renew your vehicle registration.
Virtual Reality veteran columnist and BizNews Asia publisher Tony Lopez crunched the numbers: “There are about eight million motor vehicles on the road… Multiply P450 by eight million, you get—P3.6 billion—instant billions by the simple expediency of replacing old license plates with the new Matuwid na Daan plates,” Lopez wrote. (Senator Ralph Recto estimates the number of vehicles at nine million—which means an additional P450 million for a total of P4.05 billion if we got the numbers right.)
Of course, the LTO denies allegations that this one is the latest moneymaking scheme (does anybody remember the RFID tagging scheme back in 2010, and if a refund was ever made to those poor sods who shelled out P350 for that radio frequency identification fee?). DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya claims the new plates—criticized by many as overpriced—will have added security features that would supposedly help identify colorum vehicles. If that’s the case, why impose the new plates on private vehicles? Besides, old vehicles will retain the old letters and numbers since only new vehicles will be issued the new alphanumeric plates.
Funny but the old plates will not be discarded, with this joker from the LTO even suggesting that vehicle owners can keep them as “souvenirs.” Funnier still is the admission from this same joker that people will have to wait for at least 45 days for their old-new license plates—with the possibility of getting stressed at the thought of getting repeatedly flagged by ignoramus traffic enforcers insisting that “the-new-plates-are-already-available-why-are-you-still-sporting-the-old-let-me-see-your-license-and-registration-papers.”
And get this—you have the option to install the new plates yourself instead of going to an LTO office because, the joker helpfully announced over the radio during an interview, it’s easy to remove the screws from the plates! That’s like waving a red flag to carnappers, a fuming buddy told us. Most everyone agrees with Senator Ralph Recto, this new LTO scheme is a waste of time and money, and that both the DOTC and the new plates manufacturer will be making a killing by creating a captive market for something that is totally unnecessary for existing vehicles.
LTO driver’s license not a valid ID for Western Union transactions?
Apparently, your driver’s license is not considered a valid photo ID if you can’t show the corresponding LTO receipt. This was reportedly the preposterous claim made by the female staff, identified as Allen Calmada and Rhona Quintos, at the Western Union SM Supermarket Masinag branch in Antipolo City.
According to a report from one of our buddies, Calmada and Quintos refused to process the transaction being made by a money transfer recipient despite the customer’s presentation of a valid driver’s license, saying the LTO receipt for the driver’s license was also needed. What?!?
Of course, the man does not have the receipt in his pocket—who does?—and presented two other laminated plastic photo IDs as additional proof of identification. The two insisted that they have to scan the LTO receipt, claiming that this is a requirement imposed by SM Masinag. Not surprisingly, a heated discussion soon ensued because the customer—who is familiar with Western Union transactions—pointed out that he already gave them the 10-digit MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number) known only to the sender, the recipient and Western Union (which should prove that the claimant is not an impostor); presented a valid government-issued ID plus two other proofs with his name and pic; and that he already filled out the other information required. To cut a long story short, it took almost half an hour to finish what should have been a three-minute transaction, resulting in a very incensed customer.
A quick check with the money transfer’s Web site showed that receiving money should not be a hassle. All that’s needed is the MTCN, the sender’s name and details, the amount of money and any one original valid photo ID (like a driver’s license).
But what really angered the customer was the “uncustomer-friendly” attitude reportedly displayed by the women who even told him to just go to another branch. What if the money was badly needed to cover hospital bills or some urgent expense and the recipient—say a tricycle driver—can’t present the LTO receipt for his driver’s license, and he does not have the luxury of time or even the fare money to go to another branch? What a bummer.
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