Tuesday, October 24, 2006

puzzling pldt promo phamplet

I received a flyer from PLDT a few weeks ago with the usual monthly bill. In it was the discounts for several establishments, plus the announcement for the winners of the Fathers’ Day watch promo (PLDT raffles your entry, you get a watch). Imagine my surprise when I saw the following names:

Hmm, where have I seen the name Loida Nicolas Lewis before? Here’s one
reference; here’s another; and here’s another

What the heck would a multimillionaire (in US dollars!) want with a cheapo watch??? She can afford dozens of those without batting an eyelash!

If it were just a simple randomly-generated raffle, one can still explain it away as a coincidence where she had no participation. But I think one has to actively join the raffle to win, so again the question: why would she want to join a raffle to win a measly watch???

Or maybe it’s a different Loida Nicolas Lewis?


i'm posting this on the new pc and i'm really starved for the net (the new office doesn't automatically grant unlimited net access, and i'm hesitant to ask since i know how addictive it can be...); to my 2-3 readers, i'll hopefully post more current entries soon! :P

Sunday, October 08, 2006

jostling jumping jeepneys

This is a long-overdue post; in addition, I should be posting on the Milenyo madness. At any rate, here goes my litany against the “folk art on wheels”, the jeepney.

Doesn’t it tick you off that whenever the petroleum companies raise the price of oil, the jeepney operators always raise their fares correspondingly? Yet, when the oil price goes down, no corresponding changes are felt? If oil companies are so heartless yet lower their prices, why don’t the jeepney operators with their “hearts in the right place” lower their prices in the same manner? So big firms are allowed to shoulder losses (like utilities), but the “little people” are allowed to make a killing on the end consumers? Oh come on!

It’s also a poorly-kept secret that the jeepney lobby is pushing against the legalization of routes for the Public Asian Utility Vehicles (colloquially known as FX). They argue that since FX operators should not be legalized since they don’t pay taxes; but they say that FX operators don’t pay taxes since they’re illegal. It’s a patently circular argument.

These jeepney operators don’t want the FX operators for fear of losing their market. They are so greedy that they don’t want to give the riding public a choice between riding a pollution-filled jeepney or riding an air-conditioned FX for a marginally-higher cost. If the riding public can’t afford the FX, they can ride the jeepney.

Are these jeepney operators that greedy that they want to monopolize the riding public? Or are they really scared that the riding public will choose the FX over them, given the choice; and that there is a critical mass of people who would prefer to ride the FX, such that this choice will greatly affect the jeepney operators’ bottom lines?

As it is, the FX operators serve in the gray market as “Metered Taxis”, something like jueteng, I guess. But unlike jueteng, there’s a tangible service being purchased (going from one place to another in relative comfort) from the FX; not the illusory benefits of jueteng (a chance in winning a sizeable amount). So I think legalizing FX routes makes for a better argument than legalizing some forms of gambling.

The jeepney was originally designed to be a stop-gap measure, with the destruction of the railway and bus systems during the war. It has evolved into one of our primary transport systems. It just bugs me to no end that the jeepneys want to impose their own will on the public, threatening with strikes if they don’t get their way, and barring any new alternatives looming in the horizon.