Fighting the Wrong Bottle

March 05, 2019

While such policies are put into effect for preventive measures, we citizens must be able to differentiate the policies that are needed to be implemented to eradicate the cause of the problem to those policies that are meant to be “band-aid solutions” which only aims to provide the public a false sense of security.

In this case, when the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) announced last January 31 that bottled drinks are prohibited inside their stations, they presented us with some wishy-washy solution that will only cost us great inconvenience.

I understand that they only want to minimize the risk of danger inside their vicinity. However, this method does not really hit the root of the issue. Just to be in line, I am not attacking the system. Think of it as a criticism of their actions which can help people improve overall.

As stated in the news regarding the Jolo bombings (which is the sole reason why we have this policy), a cellular phone is suspected to be used as a triggering device. So, in this case, should we forbid passengers to bring cellphones in stations? I think not.

So, what makes this no liquid rule inconvenient? for starters, there are people who are diabetic and anemic who need their fluids frequently. We must also take into account the weather here in the country.

Let’s face it, Manila can be considered as the gates of hell due to its climate (and the reality that Satan lives in Malacañang). Add the fact that these trains have poorly maintained air-conditioning, we can already consider this policy inhumane.

We all know how messed up the transportation system here in the Philippines. That, along with this new security measure, imagine the
inconvenience it could bring to a Filipino commuter who only wants to arrive at work on time.

I get it. They want to reduce the risk of crime. However, there are several Facebook posts that clearly states how incompetent the implementation process is. Some netizens are proudly sharing pictures of how they smuggled their bottles inside while one specific post narrated how a guard decided to let two foreigners keep their soft drinks after explaining that they haven’t opened it yet and that they do not want to throw and waste it away.

If you’re going to give the people a temporary solution, at least do it the right way, or better yet, present them a much concrete answer because you don’t just cover an open wound with a tiny band-aid.

(First published on The LANCE's Jan-Feb 2019 Issue)