5 Lame-Brained Schemes From The MMDA

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority has been aggressively trying to remake Manila into another Singapore.

Never mind that Manila, with 22 million residents, has more than five times the population that Singapore has, and less than a pinch of the resources.

Never mind that Manila is congested as fuck, and is a hodge-podge of 17 cities and municipalities that have different priorities and attitudes toward human rights. Never mind that Singapore is a city-state. MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando has a dream, and nothing as trivial as concrete reality can stop him.

Over the years, the powers that be at the MMDA, which we presume consists of the same pool of writers that brainstormed on the monster villains in Ultraman, has come up with zany schemes to get the people of Metro Manila to behave like Singaporeans. Judging from the fucked-up schemes they’ve come up with, life must be pretty shitty in Singapore.

Anti-Jaywalking Faraday Cages

Anyone who has ever spent a day driving on the mean streets of Manila will tell you that jaywalking is a Filipino pastime. Sometimes, people cross highways seemingly at random, ignoring pedestrian overpasses just a few feet away.

Hundreds of people die each year crossing roads where they shouldn’t, and when even MMDA-posted signs warning that jaywalking could kill them didn’t stop people from  jaywalking (and dying,) the MMDA realized they needed to kick the game up a notch.

And the gimps at their central office came up with this:

I must be getting smart to beat a smart mouse like Algernon. But I dont feel smarter."

What’s Wrong With It?

God, in all His wisdom, (or Nature, in all its seeming randomness,) gave us free will and dignity. This monstrosity pretty much took that, threw them away and then pissed on what was left.

This cage is like one of those rat mazes that PETA hates, but for people, which means PETA won’t really care about that. Unless,like, a bunny or something has to pass through.

True, Manila has a jaywalking problem, but it also has a pickpocket and stick-up issue. With your path pretty much limited to wherever the MMDA wants you to go, they’ve deprived pedestrians of the best defense against muggings: running away. Thanks to Bayani Fernando, you’ll have no place to run in case someone tries to take away your valuables at knifepoint. Your only consolation as your life fades is that you did it in an orderly fashion.

The Imelda Marcos Approach To Urban Beautification

Years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and the country was so opressed that you couldn’t even say it was opressed or you’d go to jail, the MMDA (then the Metro Manila Commission) was ruled by Imelda Marcos, lover of beauty.

To prepare Manila for the visit of Pope John Paul II, she hid Manila’s slums behind walls. So, for a while, the majority of Metro Manila residents were hidden away like Harry Potter was in the beginning of the series. Except Manila’s poor didn’t have secret magical powers, only spirit-crushing, mind-numbing poverty.

Bayani Fernando has taken the same route, but he’s doing it in a friendlier fashion. Instead of just chasing squatters off and demolishing their homes so he can hide them behind a wall, he’s hiding them behind facades that are sort of like walls with windows. Which, I guess, makes the realization that not only are you poor, but your city is ashamed of you and instead of designing programs to help you, hides you away like some deformed half-brother a little easier to bear. At least it isn’t… You know what? This is one of those situations that “at least” doesn’t apply.

Before

Before

What’s Wrong With It?

The human race has been trying this approach for years, starting with the Jews in, well, I guess, since forever. It’s called a ghetto, and it doesn’t work. No matter what Jay-Z, Dre and, most recently, Akon (with his song called, aptly enough, “Ghetto”,) say, the ghetto isn’t a cool place to live in.

Out of sight, out of mind does work, after a fashion. By walling off the poor sections of the urban sprawl, the MMDA has provided criminal elements (and actual criminals) a place to hide out.

After

After

What makes it worse (only on the principle that it doesn’t make anything better,) Fernando has plastered his name on the walls. It’s a prelude to his 2010 presidential campaign, obviously, because he’s going to need those people he ran out of their homes and hid behind walls for being eyesores to vote for him. What a fucking cunt.

Plate Numbers on Helmets

With criminality on the rise, and more and more snatchers using motorcycles as getaway vehicles,the MMDA, tasked with disposing of Manila’s garbage, regulating vehicle traffic and other things not related to what cops do, decided to step in.

Their solution? Motorcycle riders were required to display their license plate numbers prominently on their helmets. That way, victims can easily identify riders who rob them.

A Criminal

A Criminal

What’s Wrong With It?

Well, you see, unlike things like DNA and fingerprints, it’s a pretty simple thing to switch helmets.

On the basis of a half-assedly studied measure, motorcycle riders will have to wear some sort of identifying mark that assumes that they’re criminals or deviants of some sort. It’s sort of like Nazi Germany with their pink triangles and Stars of David, but with no casualties, so it’s not like that at all, but it’s pretty discriminatory is my point.

The motorcycle community protested, but Bayani Fernando, man of no nonsense action stood firm. Until a horde of bikers trooped to his office to set him straight. Fernando didn’t even come out of the building, and meekly announced that the MMDA would review the matter.

Prison Buses/Prisons On Every Corner

In another attempt to instill discipline on Metro Manila, the MMDA instituted prison buses and neighborhood prisons to detain jaywalkers, litterbugs and other dregs of society.

Don’t worry, you won’t be imprisoned overnight. Just for half an hour, two hours tops.  But in the meantime, you’ll be in full view of other pedestrians and exposed to Manila Smog (capitalized because it is an entity in itself) which means you’ll die of humiliation, and then, of lung cancer many years later. Or you could do your time on the prison bus and forced to watch MMDA documentaries to reeducate you on your civic duties.

(Wesley Snipes sold separately)

(Wesley Snipes sold separately)

What’s Wrong With It?

Prison buses. Do you know who else gets on prison buses? Actual criminals and Wesley Snipes when he played a guy who was wrongfully accused of committing a crime. Jaywalking, littering, peeing on the sidewalk, these are ordinance violations at best, not the kind of thing to do hard time for.

Arbitrary U-Turn Slots

To keep traffic flowing steadily, the MMDA eliminated virtually all intersections on Manila’s main roads and replacing them with seemingly randomly-placed U-turn slots.

It works,too. The MMDA reports a 90% increase in travel speeds along the C-5 Road (Also called Carlos P. Garcia Avenue.)

90% faster than you at getting into girl's pants

90% faster than you at getting into a girl's pants

What’s Wrong With It?

While a 90% increase in travel speed is nothing to sneeze at, a 4% increase along Katipunan Ave. (also called the best street ever) does not compensate all that much for the extra kilometer that you have to travel to take the U-turn and drive to your destination. This means more fuel consumed, more greenhouse gases emitted, and more bad vibes created. That negligible increase in travel speed? It’s speeding the Earth closer to drowning us in former ice caps.

U-turn slots also tend to not stay in one place. Think of them as concrete mushrooms and not as a part of an intricate, relatively-efficient traffic system. The MMDA, more fickle than gods, can just decide to move a U-Turn slot or make it disappear completely. So, that 4% increase in speed can just as easily turn into an extra 10% in swearing as you try to figure out where to turn.

With the MMDA coming up with wacky schemes at the drop of a hat, and with Bayani Fernando intent on running for president in 2010, one has to wonder if this is what a Fernando (but not Poe, Jr.) administration has to offer: an ad-hocracy even more fickle and more insensitive to human rights than what we currently have.

“Anyways”, a joke:

A: Anong pasta ang bumoto para kay FPJ nung 2007?

B: Ano?

A: E di, Maka-Ronnie!

–OneTamad

11 Comments

  1. The first entry I\\\’ve ever read on this site was about Bayani Fernando. I agreed with you then, and I\\\’ll agree with you now: the dude is a fascist asshole.

    The plate numbers on helmets thing is just plain dumb. Force criminals to identify themselves? Yeah, that would work. It\\\’s like a real-life version of the evil bit ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_bit ).

  2. wow, you got the human maze dead on.
    Bayani Fernando is like a father who brags about how his kids turned out good because of his ‘ways’ but his kids curse him to his grave behind his back.

    And I’ve always been against the U-turn slot since its conception. I’m just lucky I don’t use Katipunan in my daily life. I also find it harder to cross the street now that there’s no occasional stopping.

  3. @joyfulchicken: And, possibly, the next president of the Republic of the Philippines. How sad is that?

    My girlfriend said it best: Bayani is not the strongman that we need.

    @pavliuts:I agree, except that Bayani’s “kids” aren’t really doing so well. Which doesn’t stop them from cursing him anyway.

  4. Nobody will vote for that idiot Bayani Fernando.

    He looks like Quasimodo who got botox treatments (see pictures below).

  5. Bah! You whiners just can’t take the inexorable march of urban progress. Attempts at imposing discipline and everyone cries “Fascism!” Bayani has all these schemes because the citizens just don’t obey the rules. At least all he’s got is a prison bus; I’d shoot jaywalkers on the spot. That’ll learn them.

  6. You lame-brain!

    Rules are fine, I think. But it’d be easier to follow them if it didn’t seem like government was being so erratic about it. I mean, srsly, turnstiles for pedestrian crossing?

    *hyah! cane!*

  7. May I share to you the best answer chosen by Yahoo on the question:Who is your prefered next president of the philippines?

    To Wit:

    Whenever somebody ask who is the NEXT president of the Philippines, the top of the brand answer is always BAYANI FERNANDO…why?

    Just like the rest of them, I also prefer BAYANI FERNANDO as the next president because…….

    1. While Money Villar is working hard for money…insertions,behest loans, influence peddling, Bayani Fernando is in the field directing MMDA staff in fixing the drainage and water system of the squatters of Recto in front of Isetannn. Well, Bayani Fernando together with the Three Tenors, also raised money once in a while ….by singing and the beneficiaries are often the Churches and charitable institutions. Bayani Fernando agreed to join the Celebrity Duets and dont wonder if he donate half of his prize to the Caritas. Bayani Fernando has a soft heart for the Church because he was a Church worker (sacristan, yes, just like Basilio and Crispin), when he was a small boy.

    2. While Noli de Castro is leaving his first wife to marry a Muslim, Bayani Fernando was in EDSA Revolution with his construction equipments blocking the pro – Marcos tanks from open firing on the armless people in EDSA.

    3. While Mar Roxas is stalking Korina Sanchez ..appearing like a jologs teenager crazilly smittened with the oozing sex appeal of Korina, BAYANI FERNANDO is appearing presidentiable by sending people to typhoon stricken Panay.

    4. While Ping Lacson is being haunted by the public in the Kuratong and Dacer cases…. BAYANI FERNANDO will look at you straight in the eye and say in a charming Marikina accent na”wala pa syang pinapapatay sa buong buhay nya maski sino”.

    5. While Loren Legarda is marrying a married man now accused of murder, BAYANI FERNANDO has been a loyal husband to Marikina Mayor Marides Carlos Fernando (daughter of the old rich industrialist Meneleo Carlos) and a doting father to his only child Tala Fernando.

    6. “MAREA FROM Heaven” was dominating the political grapevine when GMA 7 featured the MAREA Marcos, Aquino, Ramos, Ejercito and Arroyo in a primetime. FROM is Fernando, Roxas, probably Osmena again and probably Magsaysay again. Then HEAVEN, which is still too mystrious to predict. Then GMA 7 invited Bayani Fernando to join the Celebrity Duets and FVR has revealed a “slip of the tongue” in an speaking engagement that the next president is a bayani (hero) and a pink panther which of course he clarified the next day…the usual psywar charm of the dear FVR.

    7. Then there was a talk that Noli de Castro accepted a “downpayment’ for him to run for reelection as VP, and not as President.

    8.. Then the “C5 at Taga” scandal which effectively cut down Money Villar to a money making businessman masquerading as a public servant.

    9. Then people are printing BAYANI FERNANDO stickers and paste them in their cars….and reports have it that this BAYANI FERNANDO stickers and poster are sprouting all over the country.

    What is really MAREA FROM HEAVEN? It is the mysterious spirit that put an ordinary housewife, a lowly paid professional soldier and a college drop out into the Philippine presidency…(But hey, the Atheist group of UP Diliman is promoting the MAREA DeVil Team..whatever that is….)

    Well, all said, the direction is pointing to BAYANI FERNANDO becoming the next president….the script is FROM HEAVEN…..

  8. Litong Banayo, I honestly don’t know if you’re being sarcastic or are endorsing Fernando. Which is sort of sexy, I guess.

    But, come on, you can’t expect me to be swayed by those tidbits of misinformed information. Throw in a catchy jingle and a basic grasp of human rights, and then, maybe I’ll consider to reconsider.

  9. “Judging from the fucked-up schemes they’ve come up with, life must be pretty shitty in Singapore.”

    Er… there can be some pretty OTT schemes in Sg (apparently they are putting up ‘suicide-proof’ barriers in all MRT stations or something), but they’re definitely not harebrained ideas like these.

    You could have made your point with a little more tact, imo.

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