"This is an option many employers in countries abroad already offer."
It was too bad that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s recent traffic experiment failed.
Many hoped it would be a workable solution to the daily carmaggedon on Edsa, but the move to ban provincial buses and limit buses to two lanes was a gross disservice to those who use public service, which are the majority of Filipinos.
A photo by Karl Mercado, taken the day of the experiment (Aug. 7) and posted on Facebook, showed the stark divide between rich and poor. On one side of Edsa in Cubao, buses were shown crammed nose to ass and they looked like they were barely moving. The other side of the road was ghost-town empty, so empty that a traffic enforcer even put his motorcycle right across the middle of the road.
That situation looked like heaven for the upper- and middle-class owners of cars. But it was woe for the rest of us who do not have the same financial comfort nor privilege.
The outcome we ask for from government is that a solution be found that will ease traffic enough for people to get to and from where they are going without feeling like they’ve gone to hell and back.
I read somewhere that a Japanese organization did a study on the Manila traffic but that their recommendations were not adopted—is this true, MMDA or Department of Transportation or whatever appropriate agency? May we be enlightened on this?
Again I reiterate to employers, both government and private: Look into work-from-home options for your employees. Seriously, please do this. WFH will help ease traffic because there will be fewer people on the road. This is the wave of the future. Already this is an option many employers in countries abroad offer, particularly for creative professions like writers, editors, and designers, and people working in information technology.
I have a friend in IT who worked in Chicago for many years. “When I was in the States, I never stepped foot in an office,” he told me. “Many IT people abroad do their work from home.” He is now back in Manila and hating every moment he spends in traffic, because he now has to report to an office daily.
WFH is also advantageous to employers because it will greatly reduce overhead expenses such as rent and utilities.
Schools and universities should also fully implement learning technologies such as Blackboard and Moodle. While students will benefit from face-to-face interaction with faculty and fellow students for at least several days a week, employing the Internet for learning will be most useful during days when classes are suspended because of inclement weather. That way, there need be no makeup days, the academic calendar can be kept to, and no one loses vacation days.
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By now we should be aware that many of the comments on and rejoinders we see to practically every published criticism of the President and this administration are created by ‘trolls,’ people who are paid to attack the writer and pose counter-arguments, sometimes way off the topic.
I have read recruitment announcements for such trolls and these often stipulate that the comments need not be exactly related to the topic being discussed in the columns or pieces.
Small wonder, then, that I and others critical of this administration are labeled ‘yellows,’ ‘yellowtards,’ or ‘dilawans.’ This is the catchall word for ‘critic,’ regardless of whether or not the writer is actually on the side of the traditional politicians associated with the previous administration.
Anyone who has read my columns across the years will know that I am critical of ALL administrations regardless of who is in charge. What I and many writers like myself do is speak truth to power and call out who and what is wrong, regardless of who is elected.
In the same manner, I praise whatever I see is right and beneficial for the people and the country, again regardless of whoever accomplished it.
The role of the critic is important to society because critics provide information and insights that government needs to check itself and do better. It is not to denigrate the efforts of people in power, nor to minimize their accomplishments based on party lines.
It is to point out what’s wrong or what’s not working so that attention can be turned to it and solutions found.
FB and Twitter: @DrJennyO