Traffic is a mundane problem that, unfortunately, adversely affects all aspects of our lives, including the performance of work and the loss of billions annually. Our preoccupation with the topic on traffic can be explained by, among other reasons, the immediate effect on us lawyers (the loss of precious time getting stuck on the road to and from client meetings and court hearings) and the bigger impact on society (if we can’t craft and implement simple rules like those pertaining to traffic, how would we fare with more complex laws?). Indeed, no one can deny that Metro Manila traffic needs urgent, long-term and creative solutions. The solution, for instance, may be more than installing traffic lights and removing the u-turns along Katipunan Avenue. The government is doing something about it, to be sure, although some say it’s far from effective; it’s not even enough. Here’s a video that should stir our thoughts on addressing the traffic problem. The exact system may not work in Metro Manila but what’s important is the principle behind it. What do you think? Continue reading
Metro Manila traffic is bad. It’s an established fact without need of further proof on top of the gridlock photos. Studies have shown that we’re losing MILLIONS per DAY because of Metro Manila traffic. Anyone stubborn enough to demand proof could simply take a ride in an open jeepney along EDSA during rush hour. In the past days, traffic is at a standstill throughout Metro Manila. It will get WORSE, the traffic authorities warned us. I hope it will grow to its absolute WORST condition. Continue reading
Read the manual, we’ve been told, even if you don’t follow it. When it comes to motor vehicles, many (but not all) drivers make it a point to read the Vehicle Manual. Only a few, however, bother to read the Warranty Booklet. There’s now a reason why owners and drivers should pay attention to the Warranty Booklet as well. The President recently signed the Philippine Lemon Law (see full text of Republic Act 10642, also known as the Philippine Lemon Law; see also the Q&A on the Philippine Lemon Law). This new law provides for specific steps and procedure for a consumer to avail of his/her rights (refer to the Steps in Availing of Consumer Rights under the Lemon Law).
Allow me to state a number of irrefutable statements. The University of the Philippines (UP) is one of the top Philippine universities. Within UP’s sprawling Diliman campus is found the National Center for Transportation Studies (NCTS), which does, among other things, expert transportation research and expert traffic studies. Unless somebody backs up a claim that another agency/entity (public or private) is better, the UP NCTS is the BEST transportation/traffic think tank in the Philippines.
You should watch this video. There are a number of “jokes” about speed driving. Some say they’re not driving fast, they’re simply flying low. Some say drivers who drive slow get overtaken by accidents. But no matter how speed thrills, we cannot deny the fact that, as noted by the New Zealand Transport Agency, “the faster you go the less time you have to react, the longer it takes to stop and the bigger the mess when you do stop. But people still deny this truth or think it doesn’t apply to them.” There is a new road safety campaign by the New Zealand Transport Agency specifically targeted to speed, which is a major contributor in serious injury crashes. Here: Continue reading
We know a few things about Republic Act No. 10642, also known as the Philippine Lemon Law, and we’ll know a whole lot more about this newly signed law as soon as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issues the necessary Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). Based on what we know about the law, here are the steps that a consumer must take to avail of his/her rights under the Philippine Lemon Law [Update: the Philippine Lemon Law took effect on 7 August 2014; see also effectivity and coverage]: Continue reading
The exact coverage of lemon laws varies from one jurisdiction to another, but lemon laws uniformly refer to “lemons” as defective products. After numerous bills filed in Congress through the years, the proposed lemon law has been approved by both chambers and on 15 July 2014, President Benigno Aquino signed the Philippine Lemon Law (Republic Act 10642, full text), set to take effect fifteen (15) days from publication [Update: the Philippine Lemon Law took effect on 7 August 2014; see also effectivity and coverage]. While this law directly affects only a small portion of the population, the fact remains that this law covers a major purchase or investment, with the purchase money coming from years of hard work. Let us dissect this new law. Continue reading
It’s easier to understand a rule once you’ve experienced the reason for the existence of that rule. When your house is on fire, or when the blaze is a few houses away from your own, you better understand why all vehicles on the road must give way to fire trucks. When you figure in an accident, when you or a loved one is inside an ambulance, you would want the terrible EDSA traffic to part in the middle, just like the Red Sea, to allow the ambulance or emergency vehicle to get through and reach the hospital pronto. When a crime is being committed in your house or in your vicinity, you would pray for the fastest police response time. Continue reading
On 21 December 2012, the Air Passenger Bill of Rights took effect. This regulation was a joint issuance of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and Department of Trade the Industry (DTI), through DOTC-DTI Joint Administrative Order No. 1, s. 2012 (full text), also known as the Air Passenger Bills of Rights, provides for carrier obligations and a bill of rights for air passengers. Continue reading