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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, June 13, 2019
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OPINIONS

He denies being padrino

Ninfa Leonardia

I am among the few who welcome the adoption of the National Identification, or I.D. System, that is announced to be implemented in September. I cannot understand why some are against it, but I believe it could solve a lot of problems when dealing with officialdom. I learned this lesson when my sister died recently, and we had to run around many offices to secure forms and documents needed, and went through a lot of inconveniences, especially with some who require no less that “two government-issued I.D.s”.

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I suppose having a Nationally-issued I.D. will free us from that hassle. Since I only have one government-issued I.D. and that is the Senior Citizen’s one, I had to go to the Office of the Philippine Health Insurance Office to secure one. On Saturday, I also have to go to the Social Security System Office to secure another one. I don’t know why I had never been issued such I.D. all the years I had been a member. Indeed, one has to have a clutch of I.D.s to get along these days. Will the National I.D. solve this? I know I will be among the first to apply for one.

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That was quite a gimmick of a certain gasoline company that offered discounts of P6 per liter of diesel and P12 for gasoline from 6 a.m. to 12 noon on June 11, or Independence Day. I’m sure a lot of motor vehicle owners took advantage of that, and it surely shows a patriotic sense in the owners. But the condition for being able to take advantage of it is that you have to carry the same name as a hero or heroine, which, alas, I do not. Anyway, the privilege was only available in Manila, and granted by a gasoline company I do not patronize. Still I admire the ingenuity of those who thought it up.

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I couldn’t see them, but I’m sure my eyebrows went up when I read the item in a national daily saying that there are two believed to be shoo-ins for Speaker of the House of Representatives, but the President is keeping them guessing. All along I thought that the House picks its own leader with, maybe, the President giving his “imprimatur” afterwards. But the way the report went, it look as if nobody gets the seat unless it is with the President’s anointment. So that’s the way it is.

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An item in the news that also caught my interest was one about the sinking of a boat in the Danube River that caused the death of several people. It was reported to be a sightseeing vessel, but it collided with a bigger cruise ship. That was very tragic, especially because the Danube River is so popular to tourists, as it reaches several countries. I am sure many of us know about the music piece, “The Blue Danube” that I recall was often the music used for our school programs, especially those involving ballet dancing.

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Who has not heard the piece the “The Beautiful Blue Danube”? That was why the first time went to Europe, I made sure I saw the famous river. But it was a disappointment, because I found it not blue at all, but brown. I was told it was because of pollution, but there are still some parts of Europe it reaches where it is still blue. The country where the tragic accident was identified as Hungary, particularly in Budapest. By the way, do we have any rivers with blue water in our country?

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What do Filipinos in the Visayas and Mindanao think of the President’s plan to transfer domestic flights to Sangley Airport in Cavite? This is a supposed solution to the congestion at the Manila, or Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Does this mean giving more convenience to foreign travelers coming to the country than to Filipinos from all over it, who will have to land in Cavite, and then travel to Manila where most of them are actually bound? Mr. President, please reconsider! Why not make the foreign flights land in Sangley, instead. After all such travelers must be used to being shuttled to their actual destinations, while our provincial folk generally, have their missions in Manila, our capital city. Please think of them.

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It sounded like the old “padrino system” at work. This was noted after the discovery that no less than the Secretary of Health is the godfather of the Welmed Dialysis Center that is now in hot water for its reported “ghost dialysis” operations that has also dragged the Philippine Health Center into trouble. But Health Secretary Francisco Duque III flatly denies that he has anything to do with the operations of the center, and even claims he does not have any relationship with the Welmed owners. Well, let us hope he can clear himself of this mess. Otherwise it may become a celebrated case of the obnoxious “padrino system” a lot of our officials are also engaged in.*

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