Our Times

Writings of Susan Ople aka Toots, columnist of Panorama Magazine and Tempo, proud mother of Estelle and 7 dogs, namely, Picasso, Monet, Suzy, Miggy, Marty, Chandler and Joey. Daughter of the late war veteran, journalist, writer, labor minister, constitutional commissioner, senator, senate president, and foreign affairs secretary Blas F. Ople aka Ka Blas.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Smelly drivers free to roam Metro Manila

An official of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) assures public transport drivers that the agency will not arrest them even if they stink to high heavens. This is the gist of a news story which appears in today's Inquirer (Metro page). The MMDA said that it would be difficult for its enforcers to crack down on smelly drivers and conductors.

"First of all, how are you going to implement that? Will our enforcers go around and smell drivers and conductors one by one?," MMDA Traffic Operations Center Executive Director Angelito Vergel de Dios said. "That's the responsibility of the operators and owners. They can really enforce good grooming among their drivers and that would even be helpful to their business because who would want to ride in a bus with a driver who stinks?"

He said drivers and conductors should wear a shirt with a collar and sleeves instead of a sando (sleeveless undershirt), pants instead of shorts, and shoes or sandals instead of slippers.

Here are my suggestions on how to clear the air on this issue:

1) Car wash stations can expand its line of business to body wash for drivers who stink.
2) Hugo Boss and other famous men's fragrances can set up shop at all jeepney terminals instead of those glass-encased counters in upscale malls.
3) To provide emergency employment and fight drugs at the same time, rugby-sniffing children can be used to detect smelly drivers and conductors and point them out to the MMDA for a personal hygiene seminar.
4) A shame campaign can be launched by the MMDA (with special permission of the CHR) so that buses and jeepneys bearing smelly drivers and conductors will exhibit signs saying "Bawal huminga dito kundi ikaw ay mamamatay."
5) As punishment for smelly drivers, they would have to stay inside any of the pink urinals that dot the metropolis and inhale all the fumes within it for 24 hours. That way they can realize the kind of torture that their own passengers experience (and are even charged for!) just by sitting beside or near them.