Signs of the signs by Jessica Zafra


Have you seen those tarpaulins attached to the pillars under the MRT? The ones with the portrait of MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando looking sternly at the motorists? Is this supposed to be a deterrent to traffic violations? Will Manila’s drivers observe traffic rules and regulations because an authority figure/bureaucrat/father substitute is standing there in a barong tagalog glowering at them? Is this anywhere as effective as, say, knowing that if you break the rules you will certainly get caught and penalized, and that if you get pulled over it’s for a real, actual violation?

Note the words printed at the bottom of the tarp: “Mere possession of this sign is punishable by law”. Meaning the MMDA is aware that these reminders for motorists will likely be stolen. So maybe there should be a second tarp of Mr Fernando glaring at the culprits who intend to steal these signs. These tarps are government property. They belong to the people. Stealing is wrong. But then you’d have to put signs everywhere to remind thieves that what they’re doing is bad, and then. . .

Meanwhile, there are bumper stickers saying Erap 2010. Oy, the theory of eternal recurrence. We can’t even say “Now I’ve heard everything”, because we already said it years ago.

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