Monday, September 26, 2005


I woke up early today to polish my Memorandum of Law. My deadline's tomorrow (yet, but it's near enough to induce panic- it'll be a close call tomorrow); and I still spotted a couple of typo's this morning. Come to think of it, I have to revise it again tomorrow, at noon, before I send it out.

The Memorandum is thick. I had it xeroxed, for 15 copies. Along with the attachments- the decisions of the administrative agencies in this case- the whole set cost me PhP595.00. For 50ยข per page.That's a total 1,200 pages! I'm already dreading how I'm going to send the thing out to the Court of Appeals and to the parties. They won't fit in a letter envelope. I suppose I'll have to find envelopes that would fit them.


After checking on my Memo one last time, I rushed to the LTO (the Land Transportation Office) to get a duplicate driver's license. (My wallet was stolen last Thursday. The cash I lost was negligible- PhP20- but along with the wallet- which is a knock off bought in Singapore- I lost ATM cards, ID's, and my License.) The whole process took 4 hours (although including the lunch hour). Here's the outline for the whole procedure.

Fall in line to get your affidavit of loss.
Fall in line to get an application to have your license verified.
Fill it up.
Fall in line to submit the application.
Fall in line to get your certification.
Go to another building 100m to 150m away.
Fall in line to ask for instructions.
Fall in line at Window 5.
Wrong line. (There are three window 5's within a 10meter radius.)
Fall in line at the right Window 5- to get an application for a license.
Fill it up.
Fall in line to submit your application.
Wait for your name to be called- to have your picture taken.
(Picture taken.)
Wait for your name to be called- for paying.
Wait for your name to be called- to claim your ID card.

What a long drawn out process! I was in my mother's womb for a shorter time. No wonder fixers abound. Nothing as tempting as a quick Fix when you're faced with a half day's worth of waiting for your name to be called.

Of course, you can't entirely be sure that the License and receipt the fixers will be giving you is genuine. And yet you get the feeling that it is. How else can fixers enter the LTO compound without the blessing of someone from the beaurocracy?

Maybe that's why there is the "long, drawn out process," to discourage people from going through it and taking the fixers' ways instead. My head hurts just considering all the dark possibilities.

Anyway, I spent half the time waiting looking for odd things at the LTO. Here is something I found. Mind the sign.

If smoking is absolutely prohibited, why is there a spot reserved for them under the mango tree? It's bad enough that trees in the center islands (of roads) are suffocating from automobile exhaust; here we have to bombard a tree that's far from where cars mill with cigarette smoke. I pity the trees in this country, especially that smoke tree at the LTO.

Here's another thing that's weird. 11 years ago, when my friend James and I took a driving exam- which we had to pass, for us to get a license- we used this beat up owner-jeep to run around obstacles (long sentence).

That was 11 years ago. Fast forward to the present and, guess what? The examinees are still using the same beat up old jeep. Here it is.

If it was old and beat up eleven years ago, I wonder how it is today. I'm just glad I'm not taking that driving exam today.


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