‘The Good Samaritan’

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Emeterio Sd. Perez

NORBERTO Valenzuela, who lives somewhere near the Manila International Airport, deserves the kind description accorded to the biblical character in the parable related by Jesus in the one of the Gospel books.

Without asking him to help me, he drove his jeep behind the Toyota Revo to pull it out of a pavement that separated a U-turn street and the main road leading to South Luzon Expressway.

The story surrounding The Good Samaritan was a parable told by Jesus in the Gospel to define for us who our neighbors are.

Because I am not a professional driver, I could only think of how I could possibly extricate myself then from such a predicament. In the first place, how could I have driven myself into the pavement? Well, accidents do happen.


Mr. Valenzuela had just passed my car. Then he stopped, drove back and saved me and our family car successfully from the dangers posed by the incoming traffic.

To Mr. Valenzuela, I can only express my gratitude. He is The Good Samaritan that should be emulated by others, be they drivers or not.

Thank you, Mr. Valenzuela. As an old saying goes, may your tribe increase.

For senior citizens only

Drivers of public utility vehicles (PUV) or buses (PUB) and public utility jeeps (PUJ) should emulate Mr. Valenzuela. He refused my token appreciation for his kindness to a stranger like me. It is seldom that we meet people like him.

I decided it was time for me to relate other instances when even schoolchildren do not understand what good manners are all about. Is it because Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) is no longer taught in school as a subject?

Try to observe the passengers who patronize the PUBs and PUJs. Some, if not many, of them no longer show any courtesy to senior citizens. It has been and still is a sad experience for a retiree to see older folks who remain standing in PUBs. Imagine their suffering while standing inside a moving bus!

Then you ask yourself: why have some Filipinos lost respect for their elders? I do not have the answer.

Or perhaps, these young passengers are only asserting their right to their seats as paying passengers.

What is the purpose of those notices displayed inside passenger buses that say something like the two seats behind the bus driver and those on the opposite sides are reserved for “PWDs (persons with disabilities), pregnant (women), and senior citizens?”

PUJs too

Even PUJs should allocate the seats for senior citizens but they don’t.
The question is why.

Again, I do not know the answer to this poser.

It is even sadder to observe how high-school children compete with the older folks for jeepney rides. This, it seems, is a daily occurrence to which there is no solution.

Why force students to give up their seats in favor of their elders when they consider it their right to take their seats while enjoying a 20-percent discount to the regular fare?

The competition for PUV seats may even be more intense on Mondays between students and the senior citizens when they go back to Manila after spending their weekends with their respective families in the province.

It seems respect for elders has long been gone. So is GMRC, which, in the first place, should have been taught by parents at home but which today’s school children lack.

Who cares about GMRC? When PUV seats are occupied by the teenagers, there is nothing these seniors can do but wait until their occupants alight when they reach their destination.

Due Diligencer’s take

Why do PUB conductors and PUJ drivers fail to implement seat priorities for elders?

The answer could be that they are on the road not to observe courtesy for elders but to earn a living. If only the public who commute every working day of the week would carefully observe, they would find courtesy has no place anymore in today’s society.

If one were to listening to the argument of members of an association of PUV drivers, he or she would find it nauseating to hear them reason out that they drive their vehicles to make a living and not to please any of their passengers.

How about government-issued IDs?

JAC Liner, for instance, requires a senior citizen to produce a senior citizen ID, which to the conductor of Bus No. 882 is the only valid identification for an old citizen. To him, a driver’s license that also contains one’s date of birth is not valid to entitle one to the discount.

Really? Where was JAC Liner when Republic Act No. 9257 was passed? As a PUB for both the old and the young, why doesn’t this bus company educate its conductors on the 20-percent discounts for senior citizens? Jusk asking.

esdperez@gmail.com

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