No, traffic

Articulate, confident, beautiful people. These are what we saw in Sunday’s Vice Presidential Debate. But wait. They have one more thing in common. They’re all renegades in the sense described by Malcolm Gladwell in his book, outliers.

Though most of them are scions of political families, they have in a way learned from the mistakes of their elders. They are forging their own individual paths and all of them have succeeded. Outliers.

Cayetano and Escudero, impassioned men against corruption. Honasan and Trillanes, rebels once. Robredo, human rights lawyer. Marcos, who even when he has established his own has the misfortune to carry around with him the reputation of his parents.

As long as it won’t be bloc voting, any one of them would make an interesting counterpoint to whoever will be President. Imagine: Marcos and Roxas; Robredo and Duterte; Trillanes and Poe; Honasan and Santiago; Escudero or Cayetano and Binay.

Their first yes or no question was: have they ever dabbled in corrupt practices. All the candidates raised the color red meaning no. Perhaps the reply pertains only to the personal because on the contrary their collective no doesn’t mirror national practice.

Example: “Road maintenance” that’s again started by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Baguio City and other cities in Northern Luzon. How many diggings were made in the City’s main thoroughfares, Harrison and Session Roads, this year or at least in the past two years? Commuters wake up one fine morning only to be warded off streets cordoned off by police. They turn back to see perfectly-paved roads dug up. No signages. No advisories. Zombies have eaten up their city and they’re the last to know.

Engineers who dig up roads like there’s no tomorrow are like surgeons who open up human bodies every time they forgot to complete the procedure. Or, dentists who drill into teeth every time they forgot to clean and sanitize before filling.

One of the final questions posed by the debate hosts was what would the VP candidates do to ease traffic. I agree with the responses but nobody thought about their neighbor down the corner, DPWH. Thanks to bad engineering practices and pigheadedness, the agency is itself contributing to unnecessary traffic in localities.

No is ineffective if it does not impact on the public. No for a public official has to extend beyond the personal into action down the line, the result of this ultimately felt by the citizen.

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