Espinoza: No doctors at night?

Elias Espinoza

THE question that many ask is the legality of the creation of the Cebu City Motor Riders Community Welfare Office (CCMRCWO) through Executive Order (EO) 36 that Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella recently signed. The mayor explained that the CCMRCWO was created to regulate the operations of habal-habal or motorcycle-for-hires.

The use of the habal-habal as a mode of public transport is illegal because the law, RA 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, deems it illegal. This is the reason that Congress passed a bill legalizing the motorcycle taxi, popularly known as habal-habal after “Angkas” offered to professionalize motorcycles as a public transport mode.

But Mayor Labella, a lawyer, knows that. He’s aware of the pending bill in Congress legalizing the habal-habal. His intention is to regulate the operation of habal-habal, the fastest mode of transportation, and to organize the the drivers later into a cooperative. With EO 36, operators or drivers of haba-habal will be registered; hence, they will be properly identified.

Among the issues against the drivers of habal-habal is discipline, which Angkas wanted to correct by training and educating their drivers of the traffic laws and road manners. I suppose that with CCMRWO in place, whoever is in charge, should ensure that the drivers of habal-habal should be re-educated and re-trained in traffic laws and road courtesy.

We witness everyday that some habal-habal drivers blatantly disobey traffic laws, rules and regulations. Among their violations are driving against the flow of traffic, ignoring the red light, not giving way to pedestrians crossing on their lanes, etc. Worse, most of the traffic enforcers just turn their backs on traffic violations of habal-habal drivers. Even more disheartening is when you see cops in uniform driving a motorcycle but don’t observe simple traffic rules.

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After the service provider LBP Service Corp. failed to provide the Province of Cebu with medical doctors and other personnel who will serve at its 16 provincial hospitals, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia decided to instead directly hire the doctors but on a job order (JO) basis. I learned from a reliable source that the take-home pay that the service provider offered to the doctors was even less than what experienced nurses are receiving. So, it’s not surprising that not a single medical doctor applied. This gives rise to suspicion that the service provider was only after its well-being.

Last year, Governor Garcia Garcia changed what former Gov Junjun Davide, now her vice governor, did in directly hiring the medical professionals who run the provincial hospitals. LBP Services Corp. won the bid for a P258 million contract and for it to hire more than 800 medical and clerical personnel. The system, however, turned out to be nada.

Governor Garcia should look into a report that I received from a reliable source that one of its provincial hospitals doesn’t have doctors on duty in the evening. A patient was brought in to the hospital one night but there was no available doctor to attend to the patient. The reason, according to my source, the doctors being JOs only work eight hours during the day. The lack of medical doctors in the provincial hospitals especially at night is a dangerous precedence that Governor Garcia should act on to prevent a setback on her health program for the province.