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One peso for convenience

  • Written by Mario Fetalino Jr.
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 148

WHEN traveling in Metro Manila, motorists use toll highways so they can reach their destinations faster. I use highways even if I have to pay for it because doing so enables me to do my job on time.

I sometimes try being ‘kuripot’ and use the ordinary roads instead of the highway but I always regret paying dearly for it because I get late at work, miss important meetings, lose opportunities, and shorten bonding time with family due to traffic.

So for me and to many of our countrymen, highways are very important because they’re useful and helpful.
   
At any rate, one can notice something odd about the tollgates of our highways. Even foreigners complain about it. It’s about the lanes. There are lanes for cash, electronic payments, remote frequency identification and other forms of payment.
   
That’s fine.
   
What’s not good are the lanes that are both for cash and any of the other forms of payments. For example, there’s a lane that says ‘Cash/Beep’ or ‘Cash/ ETC’ and more. The point is one is not supposed to mix the cash and other modes of payment in one lane because it defeats the purpose of facilitating better flow of traffic.
   
Of course motorists paying cash usually take more time for obvious reasons so why do the others that pay for faster mode of payments be with them in the same lane? That’s crazy isn’t it?
   
Another bad observation is the rate of the toll fees. Nothing wrong with paying them but why, for example,  pay P24 instead of P25 or P82 instead of P80? The essence here is about the time used in looking for the exact amount on the part of the motorists and that of the collector looking for  change.   
   
Well, somebody told me the rates underwent a long process of research and study by the Toll Regulatory Board and the National Economic Development Authority because somehow the income of Filipinos and prices of commodities were considered before they arrived at those amounts.
   
But would one care for a one- or two-peso difference in exchange  for convenience?
   
Come on.

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The country’s tycoons recently dined with President Duterte in Malacañang. They talked about many important issues that included ‘endo’. Endo is otherwise known as ‘end of contract’, a scheme practiced by many employers.
   
Endo is not good for our workers because it denies them security of tenure. We don’t know how the talks on endo ended during the dinner but Duterte reportedly told the tycoons to help improve the plight of the working class.
   
At any rate, I hope the President raised the issue of bad traffic in Metro Manila where businesses of the said tycoons contribute a lot to the problem and they’re not helping. When there’s a mall, there’s traffic right? And we can’t see a single tycoon doing something about it.
   
The dinner ended happily based on reports that all the tycoons left Malacañang smiling.
   
Businessmen usually smile when they see profits coming.

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McDonald’s Phils. hopes this year is better than 2016. Last year,  system-wide sales for McDo grew 14 percent.
   
Kenneth Yang, the firm’s president and chief executive officer, said challenging them to do better is a plan to focus on  stand alone McCafé stores.
   
The stores  serve coffee, sandwiches and pastries.
   
Yang is aiming for P41 billion revenues this year.  “Our double digit performance in 2016 showed that our fundamentals are strong, and we made the right innovation and expansion decisions. This year, we aim to sustain that momentum as we continue to listen and respond to our customers’ preferences and be present in more areas nationwide,” Yang was quoted as saying.
   
McDo also plans to hire more students as it believes ‘that training is invaluable.’ I remember when McDo opened its first branch in Lerma, University Belt, Manila. Students at the counter impressed me with quality service. I hope McDo can bring back that one.
   
The food chain has 521 stores all over the country. More than 50 percent of the stores are company-owned while the rest are franchise. Franchise cost is P40 million and the return of investments is between four to five years.  

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