TaN: According to the news today (Nov 29), there had been an increase in car sales (here) – by at least 10 percent. The way things going – in the transport industry – it would imply that the economy is not only doing fine but better than most other economies of the world. In this case, it is high time that we return the junked OPSF (Oil Price Stabilization Fund).
The OPSF was established to serve as a buffer for sudden and substantial price fluctuations. The idea there was that those who can afford should shoulder part of the cost of those who cannot afford. Since many are able to afford to purchase cars, it stands to reason that they should likewise be able to afford the fuel cost. In this regard, a heavier tax may be levied on oil prices to serve as a source for the OPSF which will and should be used to subsidize public transport fuel costs.
It is only fair that the money to be used to subsidize public transport should come from those who also consume fuel – not like that case of the MRT (Metro Rail Transit), which, I heard, is being subsidized by the national government using taxpayers’ money. [This is not right because the people in the Visayas and in Mindanao have no access to the MRT yet their tax money are being used to subsidize something that they have no access to, no equal opportunity to avail of it.]
Once the OPSF is (re-)established, oil prices should be – within reason and properly justified – permitted to rise. The higher cost will: (1) determine which car trips are really necessary; (2) teach people to car pool and use cars more appropriately; (3) reduce the volume of cars on the road (due to high fuel cost, unnecessary trips will be given more serious thought); and, (4) environmental pollution will be mitigated significantly and air quality will be improved.
Businesses that transport vital and essential goods shall likewise enjoy subsidy from the OPSF – like those carrying food, like emergency vehicles, like school buses. Use of the railroad will be encouraged, especially in providing an alternative to hauling food and essential goods over long distances.
Finally, as with Singapore as a paradigm, all vehicle owners – be they public or private – shall be required to make garages and parking facilities that is capable of accommodating all their vehicles. Those currently without shall be given a grace period to either comply or sell their vehicles. After the grace period, any and all vehicles parking on the streets shall either be subject to towing or to parking fees. The fees will bring additional income to the barangay in whose jurisdiction the vehicles will be parked (on the street).
TaN: In this temporal existence, the (true) will of the People is Supreme. This is simple, fundamental, and universally-accepted princple.
Today, clash of rights and freedoms have become ubiquitous. Take the case of when a former leader is being perceived to be tyrannical and dictatorial and has engaged in wanton and unabashed plunder. While the succeeding administration is hastily bringing up charges and issuing orders preventing their flight (to countries beyond the reach of extradition), the lawyers of the said former leader – among other things – are crying violations of their client’s right to travel, to life (when seeking medical treatments and procedures), and to engage the “services” of the highest adjudicator of the land (to issue rulings and decisions favorable for them. In such situations (where there are conflicts of opinions and interests), it must always be remembered that the interest of the People is Supreme.
In the case of the current political “debate” over the concerns of the President and his predecessor, it must be realized that, though it may be true that the rights and interest of the former president must be observed and respected, it remains that the rights and interests of the Filipino people must supersede all else. The actions of the sitting President must be deemed as not his but in behalf of the country. In this case, the former president’s rights and interest must be subordinated to the interest and concerns of the greater number (utilitarianism). [We are, of course, going on the assumption and hope that the actions of the sitting President represent the true sentiment of the majority and that the motives behind the actions are without malice. It must, further, be assumed that the majority will behave in a responsible and mature manner and not give in to emotions.]
Finally, especially in a responsible and mature citizenry, our actions shall be in the pursuit of truth, justice, and right. All actions shall be given the utmost courtesy and respect to the former president not only by virtue of the former status but equitably applied to all and sundry – regardless of the stature of the individual. [Of course, the general Philippine populace is lightyears away.]