Archive for July, 2019


7 July 25

The news regarding the bill about PSA birth certificates not expiring and considered valid all the time was sent to my Viber by a friend last Sunday.  I got to read the entire news just this morning and I could not help but write down my (personal) opinion on the matter and why I think this will not work.

So I reviewed my previous blogs that talked about the PSA birth certificate as a basic and primary requirement.  True enough, almost all government transactions like applying for a passport, getting an SSS number and ID, and securing a Senior Citizen ID, the birth certificate must be submitted as the sole basis of the applicant’s identity.  I am sure these government offices are aware that a person’s birth certificate does not expire, so why would they insist on having the applicants submit a new copy – one that was issued within the past six months from the date of application or submission.

Here are five reasons I wrote down and hope this helps everyone understand why it is important to get new copies of your PSA certificates.

  1. PSA changes the security paper (SECPA) where our PSA certificates are printed.

They do this to discourage the spread of fake, Rectofied (get it? Huh?) PSA certificates that some people use in their transactions.  Of course, it is always easier to just have a fake document printed out in Recto (or wherever else you can get a fake document) but do you realize the consequences this sick practice can eventually cause you and your transactions?

The SECPA that PSA uses is unique and secured and has special features that make the document authentic.  Fakers in Recto cannot copy this kind of paper.  So if you want to be sure that the birth certificate you have is truly authentic, get new copies from the PSA every now and then.

  1. Any correction or amendment applied to the details in your birth certificate is considered an update.

So technically, your birth certificate can be updated.  For example, you had your name’s spelling corrected, or your child was legitimated and now carries the last name of his or her biological father – these are changes in your information that are not reflected in old copies of your birth certificate.  Therefore, you need to get a new copy of your birth certificate and use this instead of your old one.

  1. Some establishments and government agencies ask for the original PSA copy of your birth certificate (or marriage certificate, CENOMAR, or death certificate).

Most establishments do not accept photocopied certificates and so you would have to give them the original prints. When you are out of copies, you need to get a new set so you always have a copy of your and your family’s PSA birth certificates.

  1. Government agencies are advised by the PSA every time the SECPA is updated. They reserve the right to require the public to submit their PSA certificates in the updated paper.

Of course, these government agencies and private establishments (like banks, schools, hospitals, etc.) will prefer PSA certificates that are printed in the latest SECPA as announced by the PSA.  This does not mean that the certificates printed in an old version of a SECPA are already outdated or expired; it just means that they want to make sure that all PSA documents submitted to them are in its latest prints.

  1. Old and dilapidated copies are considered invalid.

This is just my opinion – why would I settle for a PSA document that is old, its prints hardly readable, or the paper itself is falling apart when I can easily get a new one?  Of course, I will require the new, crisp copy of the PSA document!  One that I can easily read and file without it crumbling to pieces.

Getting a new copy of your PSA certificate should not be seen as dagdag gastos and pahirap sa mamamayan.  I personally do not think that it is unnecessary, expensive, and oppressive.

It is necessary to ensure that all documents we submit to the government and private establishments are authentic and updated.

Expensive?  How do we even quantify that?  A copy of your birth and marriage certificate costs Php 155.00 and a CENOMAR, Php 205 when acquired directly at a PSA office.  These rates could increase a bit if you order it online and have it delivered to you, but then you wouldn’t have to spend on gas or fare and you won’t have to take a leave from work, so it still is affordable and in all aspects, reasonable.  Why are we even making an issue out of this?

Oppressive?  How is ensuring your documents’ authenticity oppressive?  Do we prefer that government agencies and private establishments like banks and our children’s schools settle for old, worn-out copies of our PSA documents?

I would gladly hear your thoughts on this topic.  Please feel free to send us a message on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MasterCitizen/

Until then, I would strongly encourage you to keep at least one or two copies of your PSA birth certificate and do not hesitate to secure more copies whenever you can.

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7 July 22

I often receive inquiries on how to repair birth certificate errors that are committed by either the parent who filled out the child’s birth documents, or the medical staff at the hospital where the child was born, or relatives who took on the responsibility of registering the child’s birth.  Some of the errors are reparable, while some need to undergo court proceedings and the assistance of a lawyer.  Either way, an error in a child’s birth certificate is a hassle that could have been prevented if the people involved in the child’s registration paid more attention to the details.

To help parents avoid these costly mistakes, I researched online and found some helpful insights from moms at smartparenting.com.ph on how to avoid committing errors on a child’s birth certificate. They also shared unique situations when the errors are most likely to occur, like when the mom is not married to the child’s father and is not sure whether the child could use the father’s last name or not.

So I am sharing with you this helpful article I found online; I summarized it a bit to make it more readable for us.

  1. If the parents are not married and they want for the child to carry the father’s last name:

Per RA No. 9255, these are the documents that the parents need to submit upon registration of the child’s birth:

  • Affidavit of Admission of Paternity – signed by the father.
  • Private Handwritten Instrument
    • Handwritten by the father
    • Duly signed the father
    • He must expressly recognize the paternity of the child during his lifetime.
  • Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father
    • Filled out and signed by the father
    • You may ask the hospital to provide you with a blank form of this affidavit.

The child will now be able to carry his or her father’s last name, by virtue of the affidavit that is permanently attached to his or her birth certificate.

  1. For married parents- bring a certified true copy of the following upon child’s birth registration:
  1. File your child’s Certificate of Live Birth within 30 days from the time of birth.

If you fail to file your child’s birth within this prescribed period, his birth will be considered “Late Registered” and you will be required to present additional documents.

  1. Tell your OB and other medical staff who will be attending to your delivery what last name your child will be using.
  • Medical staff will tag your baby as “Baby Roque” or “Baby Mejia”.  Make sure they know whose last name the baby will be using (yours or the father’s if you are not married).
  1. Decide on your baby’s name beforehand.
  • Write down your baby’s name and make sure the spelling is correct.
  • Inform your doctor and the medical staff of the name you wish to give your child. Give them the correct spelling.
  1. Do not fill out forms when you are too tired from the delivery or still sleepy from anesthesia.

This is when mistakes usually happen.  Instead, have your partner or husband accomplish the forms, or your parents if they are around.  Just the same, make sure you have all important information listed down already before going into labor to avoid typo errors and oversights.

Source:

www.smartparenting.com.ph

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7 July 18

I remember this started in Quezon City a couple of years ago (maybe that’s how I remember it because I live in Quezon City).  I saw tarpaulin signs along the QC Memorial Circle, encouraging females to report catcalling, wolf-whistling, and any other type of advances made by the opposite sex that make them uncomfortable and unsafe.  I thought it was a bold move from the city government and I secretly hoped it could be implemented nationwide.

And then I saw this news last Monday that says: “New law punishes wolf-whistling, catcalling, online sexual harassment,” and I could not believe my eyes!  My prayer has just been answered.

What is Anti-bastos law?

The politically correct term (or title) is Safe Spaces Act or Republic Act No. 11313 and it was signed by the President last April 17, 2019;  however, a copy of the law was only made public last Monday, July 15.  It covers all forms of sexual harassment and slurs done in public, online, and even in private messages.

What are the forms of sexual harassment and corresponding penalties imposed by the Safe Spaces Act?

First degree offenses:

  • Cursing
  • Catcalling
  • Wolf-whistling
  • Leering and intrusive gazing
  • Taunting, unwanted invitations
  • Misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic, and sexist slurs.
  • Persistent unwanted comments on one’s appearance.
  • Relentless requests for personal details such as name, contact, and social media details or destination.
  • Use of words, gestures, or actions that ridicule on the basis of sex, gender, or sexual orientation; identity and/or expression including sexist, homophobic, transphobic statements and slurs.
  • A persistent telling of sexual jokes.
  • Use of sexual names, comments, and demands.
  • Any statement that has made an invasion on a person’s personal space or threatens the person’s sense of personal safety.

Penalties for the first-degree offense:

  • First offense: P1,000 fine and 12-hours community service with Gender Sensitivity Seminar
  • Second offense: 6-10 days in prison/P3,000 fine
  • Third offense: 11-30 days in prison and P10,000-fine

Second-degree offenses:

  • Making offensive body gestures at someone
  • Public masturbation
  • Flashing of private parts
  • Groping
  • Similar lewd actions

Penalties for second-degree offenses:

  • First offense: P10,000-fine and 12-hours community service with Gender Sensitivity Seminar
  • Second offense: 11-30 days in prison/P15,000 fine
  • Third offense: 1 month and 1 day to 6 months in prison and P20,000 fine.

Third-degree offenses:

  • Stalking
  • Sexual advances, gestures, and statements mentioned previously with pinching or brushing against the body of the offended person.
  • Touching, pinching, or brushing against the genitalia, face, arms, anus, groin, breasts, inner thighs, face, buttocks, or any part of the victim’s body.

Penalties for third-degree offenses:

  • First offense: 11-30 days in prison/P3,000-fine with attendance to Gender Sensitivity Seminar
  • Second offense: 1 month and 1 day to 6 months in prison and P50,000-fine
  • Third offense: 4 months and 1 day to 6 months in prison/P100,000-fine

 Sexual Harassment Online

The law defines it as the use of information and communication technology in terrorizing and intimidating victims through physical, psychological, and emotional threats.

To further describe what online sexual harassment is, below are specific descriptions:

  • Unwanted sexual misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic, and sexist remarks and comments online whether publicly or through direct and private messages.
  • Invasion of the victim’s privacy through cyber-stalking and incessant messaging.
  • Uploading and sharing without the consent of the victims, any form of media that contains photos, voice, or video with sexual content.
  • Unauthorized recording and sharing of any of the victim’s photos, videos, or any information online.
  • Impersonating identities of victims online or posting lies about victims to harm their reputation.
  • Filing false abuse reports to online platforms to silence victims.

Penalty for anyone who commits online sexual harassment:

  • 2 years, 4 months, and 1 day to 4 years, and 2 months in prison or P100,000 to P500,000-fine, or both.

The Philippine National Police’s Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNPACG) shall develop an online mechanism for reporting real-time online sexual harassment.  They are also in charge of apprehending violators online.

Sexual Harassment in Workplaces and Schools

The law defines this as:

An act or series of acts involving any unwelcome sexual advances, requests or demand for sexual favors, or any act of sexual nature, whether done verbally, physically or through the use of technology such as text messaging or electronic mail or through any other forms of information and communication systems, that has or could have detrimental effect on the conditions of an individual’s employment or education, job performance, or opportunities.

Employers are enjoined to form a committee that will address complaints of sexual harassment; this must be headed by a female employee and half of the member population must be composed of women.

 Responsibility of Public Establishments

The laws also mandate establishments such as restaurants, cinemas, malls, bars and other privately-owned places to adopt a “zero-tolerance policy” in the implementation of RA 11313.  These establishments must cooperate in the timely reporting of sexual harassment in their areas and make CCTV footage available when ordered by the court.

Tell me what you think about this new law and how this could help you and your family.  I would love to hear from you.

Reference:

www.rappler.com

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7 July 17

Back in October 2017, I wrote a blog about student discounts on PUV fare.  This was around the time when students were complaining that they are not granted the 20% discount on PUV fares during weekends and holidays.  To address the issue, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) made an announcement that students must still be granted the discount privilege even when they do not have classes (weekends, holidays, days when classes are suspended).

I am glad to know that the government has taken this issue one notch higher by making it a law and now covers not just jeepneys but all types of Public Utility Vehicles!  Now, students can enjoy fare discounts on buses, taxis, tricycles, trains, airfare, passenger ships, and Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS).  These discounts are applicable any day of the week as long as the student is enrolled (which means, the students may be asked to show their valid school IDs and they should be able to show the driver this.).

The President signed Republic Act 11314 or the Student Fare Discount Act last Monday, July 15, 2019.  Below are the important details from the said law:

  1. Filipino students, from elementary to college, including technical-vocational school students – will get a 20% discount on Public Utility Vehicles.
  2. PUVs include land, air, and sea transportation.
  3. The discount applies for the entire time they are enrolled, INCLUDING weekends and holidays.
  4. For air and sea travel, the discount will only apply to domestic travel.
  5. The discount covers buses, jeepneys, taxis, tricycles, LRT and MRT, airlines, passenger ships, and transport network vehicle services (TNVS) like Grab.
  6. Students must be able to show their valid school ID or a validated enrollment form together with a government-issued ID.
  7. The discount does not cover post-graduate students (medicine, law, masteral, doctorate) or those enrolled in short-term classes like students of dancing and driving schools and seminars.
  8. If the student is traveling abroad by plane or passenger ship for education, training, or to participate in a competition, he or she will be exempted from paying travel taxes.

Penalties for drivers and operators who refuse to give student discounts:

  1. Students who were refused the privilege by drivers or operators may lodge their complaints at the LTFRB (for land transportation), or at the Civil Aeronautics Board (for air transportation), and at the Maritime Industry Authority (for sea or water transportation).
  2. The degrees of penalties for the three types of transportations range from:
  • P5,000 for first-time offenders of land transportation
  • P200,000 for the third offense by an airline.

Make sure that you, as the student, was able to prove that you are indeed a bona fide student and were able to show an ID or document to prove that you are entitled to the discount.  Always bring your ID with you, even during weekends and holidays.

Reference: www.rappler.com

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7 July 15

I found this super helpful article in Rappler that I think will help this year’s high school and college graduates secure their government IDs and other documents that are required when applying for a job.  When I was a fresh graduate myself, I dreaded making trips to government offices because of the long lines and wait time.  I remember when I applied for my Pag-IBIG number, I had to make two trips to their main office because I did not have a copy of my (NSO) birth certificate when I first came!  Imagine the hassle!

If I had this list then, I would have been able to secure all my IDs and membership numbers in less than five days.  So for those of you who are just getting a head start on this thing called adulating, here’s something that I hope can help you.

SSS:

  1. Prepare the required documents.

For the complete list of required documents to secure an SSS number, please visit their website at www.sss.gov.ph.  But let me tell you now, you need an original copy of your PSA birth certificate when securing an SSS number. You can order at www.psahelpline.ph and have it delivered to you instead.

  1. Accomplish the online form.

You’ll need a working and accessible email account so make sure yours is working.  SSS will send a link to your email address and they will ask for further details from you (to verify that you truly are who you say you are).  The link will expire in 5 days so do check your email diligently and reply as soon as you can.

  1. Review your details.

Always double check the entries you made on the form before hitting the “submit” button.  When sure, click the Generate SSS number button.

  1. Print a copy of the documents and bring these to the nearest SSS branch.

Along with your PSA birth certificate and other requirements, submit the print-out to the nearest SSS branch.  Make sure to bring photocopies, just in case.

PhilHealth:

  1. Prepare copies of accomplished PhilHealth Member Registration Form (PMRF) and two copies of your latest 1×1 ID photos.
  2. Bring two valid IDs or a copy of your PSA birth certificate.

Submit all of the above to PhilHealth in order to get your PhilHealth number.

 

NBI:

You can now apply for an NBI clearance online.  Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Log on to nbi-clearance.com and register to a new account.
  2. Fill out the online form and click the I accept the Terms of Service box; read the terms and then click the I agree button.
  3. Wait for your account confirmation and as soon as it is activated, fill out the form and save your information.
  4. You may now secure an appointment with the NBI.
  5. Indicate the type of ID you will be bringing to your appointment. Make sure that this is a valid ID.
  6. Choose the date and NBI branch where you want to get your clearance. And then choose the mode of payment you prefer for your reservation.
  7. Pay the required fee and then log back to the website to register your account. You will see if your payment has been posted already: the status will either be paid (payment has posted) or pending (payment has not yet posted). Save a copy of the application form or take a screenshot with your phone; make sure that the reference number is clear and readable.
  8. On the date of your appointment, proceed to your chosen NBI branch and bring 2 valid IDs that you declared in your application, as well as the NBI clearance payment receipt.
  9. Upon reaching the NBI office, proceed to the image capturing section and biometrics so they can collect your information.
  10. The staff will ask you to review all your information before printing. If you do not have a “hit”, you will be able to get your clearance immediately. If you have a “hit” (meaning records match your name), you will have to wait for a few more days before you are issued your clearance.

Pag-IBIG:

Just like the SSS, you can now register online to apply for a Pag-IBIG membership.

  1. Log on to the Pag-IBIG website at www.pagibigfund.gov.ph and click the online registration link. You will be taken to a page where you need to key in your details.
  2. After you have double-checked that all entries are correct, submit your online form and wait for your Registration Tracking Number.
  3. Your Registration Tracking Number will serve as your temporary number while you are waiting for your permanent Pag-IBIG number.

 

UMID (Unified Multi-purpose ID)

  1. Print out this form, fill out and submit to the nearest SSS branch.
  2. After submitting, line up and have your photo, fingerprints, and signature taken.
  3. Your UMID card will be delivered to you within 30 calendar days (or longer, just wait.).
  4. When you receive your UMID card, you need to activate this. You can proceed to any SSS branch or selected kiosks in malls for the activation.

Questions? Send us an email!

Source: www.rappler.com

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7 July 10

A few years back, the government tightened its policies against the use of mobile devices while driving (Anti-distracted Driving Act).  Soon, pedestrians in Baguio City will no longer be allowed to use their mobile phones while walking, especially when crossing busy streets and alleys.

What specific acts are prohibited under this ordinance and what penalties and consequences await stubborn residents and tourists?  Read on.

  1. Texting or reading text messages while crossing pedestrian lanes or streets.
  2. Reading any material while crossing a pedestrian lane or street.
  3. Texting or reading while traversing a sidewalk which causes delays in the mobility of other pedestrians and using a mobile device while crossing a pedestrian lane or the street wherein the line of sight is directed or focused to such devices.

Penalties:

  1. First offense:
  • Reprimand
  1. Second offense:
  • P1,000 fine or
  • Community service
  1. Third offense:
  • P2,000 or
  • Community service or
  • A penalty of 1 to 10 days in jail
  1. Fourth offense:
  • P2,500 and community service or
  • Imprisonment of 11 to 30 days.

Who will apprehend offenders?

  • The City Public Order and Safety Division (POSD)
  • Baguio City Police Office-Traffic Management Unit
  • Barangay Police and enforcers

Closed-circuit television (CCTV cameras) will also be used by the authorities in presenting proof of violation.

Reference: http://www.baguiocityguide.com

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7 July 9 (1)

You no longer have to rant in your social media account whenever you have an unpleasant experience anywhere in the city of Manila.  The city government has recently launched its online complaint desk where residents and visitors may file their grievances for prompt attention and proper action.  All they have to do is create a Google account (if you have a Gmail account, that will suffice) and log on to this site:

You need only to provide the required information on the page such as a working email address, your name and contact number, and the details of your complaint.  If you have a photo or a video of the incident or persons involved in the complaint, you may upload these through the page too.

Types of complaints could be:

  1. Reporting a crime
  2. Corruption
  3. Traffic situations
  4. Tourism
  5. Business
  6. Health

If your complaint is not covered by the above categories, you can simply choose Other and provide a detailed description of your complaint.

When you have provided all the relevant information and attachments that will support your complaint, just click the Submit button.

The city government may reach out to you through your provided email and phone number to give you updates on your filed complaint.  And don’t worry, all information you provide through the Google form will be treated as confidential.

The complaint desk is now available to the public.

What can you say about this new project from Manila?  Should other cities implement the same?

Reference: www.news.abs-cbn.com

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Good job, Manila!

7 July 3A (1).jpg

What used to be a narrow, smelly alley is now clean and free from illegal vendors that take up too much space.  That’s the street leading to the LRT Carriedo station that I pass every day on my way to work!  Now, I don’t have to worry about my shoes getting all muddy or accidentally stepping on animal waste (eew!).  There’s enough room for people to safely walk on the sidewalks while pedicabs are parked in an orderly manner in just one area.  Vehicles are now able to pass without having to dodge vendors’ paninda along the driveway.  What a relief for everyone, especially for pedestrians like me!

My mom is also bugging me to take her to the Divisoria because she heard it too underwent general cleaning last Monday.  Gone are the thick line of vendors peddling their wares along the streets, illegally parked pedicabs and private vehicles, and trash is strewn everywhere.  They hosed down the entire alley and cleared up the streets so that shoppers can now conveniently come and go.

“Kala mo nasa Ayala ka lang,” quipped one netizen in Facebook after his visit to Tutuban yesterday.  My mom wants to experience the “Ayala in Divisoria” atmosphere too.

Have you been to Divisoria and Carriedo lately?  Share your experience and suggestions with us!

What do you think of the new mayor’s clean-up drive (apparently, he will move heaven and earth to make Manila a clean, livable, and walkable city once more.)?

Which areas would you like to see hosed down and sanitized by the local government?

We’d love to hear from you!

References:

news.mb.com.ph

www.facebook.com/gmanews/

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7 July 3

First of all, the act mandating 14th-month pay for Pinoy employees is still undergoing deliberation and has not been approved by Congress yet.  So the news saying that this has been approved already is fake.  So do not believe any post you see online telling you that this is now in effect.

Also, the bill has been pending with the House of Representatives Committee on Labor and Employment since August 15, 2018.  So it isn’t as if it is a brand new idea that the government thought of just now.  In the Senate, the bill has been pending with the committee since July 2016.

In order for the proposal to move ahead, it must be approved by both the House of Representatives and then submitted to the President for his approval.

I personally agree that employees must be granted a 14th -month pay, over and above the annual salary increases, bonuses, and allowances that our employers give us.  According to the government, the 14th-month pay shall help cover mid-year non-negotiable expenses such as tuition fees, hospitalization, home improvements, and the like.  The 13th-month pay is usually dedicated to Christmas expenses and almost never makes it to the first week of January.  And I can totally relate.

The bill states that the 13th-month pay should be given mid-year, not later than June 14th and the 14th month in place of the usual 13th-month pay, not later than December 24th.  The minimum amount must not be less than 1/12th of the basic salary of the employee in a calendar year; all employees that have rendered at least one month of service are entitled to the 14th-month pay.

Are you as excited as I am?

Reference: www.rappler.com

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7 July 2

The first day in office of newly elected city officials proved to be a productive one – especially for the city government of Baguio.  One of the first and most popular ordinance they proposed to implement is the Anti-distracted Pedestrian decree.

Under the proposed ordinance, pedestrians will be disallowed from using their gadgets and other electronic devices while crossing a street to avoid distractions that may result in accidents.  Although the news did not specify the gadgets, I assume that foremost on the list is the mobile phone.  This means that Baguio residents and tourists must keep their phones away when walking along busy streets such as Session Road, Assumption, Magsaysay Avenue, Bokawkan, Bonifacio, Country Club Drive, South Drive, etc.

What types of devices and activities are prohibited?

Again, the news did not specify, BUT if given the privilege to air my opinion, I would recommend (apart from texting and calling):

  1. Listening to music with earphones on.
  2. Speaking on the phone using a Bluetooth earpiece (because this will still distract you – based on my experience. I could have my hands free from holding my phone while talking to someone but my mind would always be focused on my conversation, not on what my free hands should be doing.).
  3. Playing games, browsing online (including social media, online shopping, paying bills, etc.).
  4. Taking pictures – seriously, why would you want to take a picture while you’re crossing a street or walking down a busy road unless it’s the Shibuya crossing in Japan or Times Square in New York.
  5. Reading from an e-book. This should be self-explanatory.

What are the consequences if you break the (upcoming) law?

You shall be made to settle a fine of P5,000 and or spend some time in prison – when found to have violated the law at least three times.

First-time offenders will be required to render community service (Baguio is truly big on community service!) for 15 days and 30 days for the second offense.

Any exemptions?

Of course, if you can prove that your reason for texting or calling is a valid emergency, you will be excused.  Emergency responders performing their official duties are likewise exempted from the law.

I fully support this ordinance and I hope that other cities, especially in Metro Manila, would follow suit.  I have heard one too many stories of people getting hit by vehicles because they were busy tinkering with their phones or are listening to super loud music while crossing the streets or even just walking down busy alleys.  It is frustrating to see people lose their lives just because they are distracted by something as negligible as a text or phone call (or social media).

I want to hear your thoughts on this. Do you agree with Baguio City?

Reference: www.baguio.gov.ph

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