Tuesday, May 13, 2008

High oil prices and govt parades

As world oil prices hit the $126 a barrel mark, the Makati City government closed off a big part of Ayala avenue and a few surrounding streets for the big "Makati Day" parade in the afternoon. These parades are participated mostly by the barangays in the city and some agencies under the Mayor's Office.

The 1st batch of the parade started walking at 2pm, the bulk at 3pm, but the bright boys of Makati traffic police closed off Ayala as early as 12 or 1pm. Even after all the parade participants have left the assembly area, front of Makati central fire station, much of Ayala on both sides was clear and almost empty of vehicles.

I went down to buy some food at People Support building, then I saw a corporate-dressed man pleading with the police on the intersection of Buendia-Ayala, he's going to People Support building, just around 20 meters away, but the Makati policeman would not allow him, even if the entire road was clear because the event was held in front of Tower 1, about half a kilometer away! The policeman's other traffic officers buddies just looked at them carelessly.

For this type of bureaucrats, private citizens don't matter to them, unless the latter have close political connections perhaps. If the citizens have an important meeting, bureaucrats don't care, the private citizens are not the "boss" of the bureaucrats. It's the city mayor, the councilors, the city and national police chiefs.

Exasperated, the man has to go around more than 1 km perhaps in heavy traffic streets, where all vehicles were rerouted, waste several drops of gasoline, spew more gas emissions elsewhere, be late for his appointment or meeting, perhaps lose a business deal.

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