I have to wonder if Filipinos create BS laws for the simple thrill of breaking them. Otherwise, what is the point? Or, do the people who create the laws care nothing if it actually gets implemented or enforced?
This is my recent trip to the LTO for a very simple task. That is where I will start.
I have a small motorcycle to get around. Its so much easier in the city at times to get around with a motorcycles than a car, plus parking can be such a pain. Well, someone (basically a thieving pinoy) broke into the compartment of the motorcycles and stole some things. (I did not bother to call the police since I try to stay away from them given their awful reputation). One of those things, which is completely useless to the thieving pinoy was my registration renewal and certificate of registration. Of course, the originals were in the house, but after returning from the USA, they were lost, misplaced, or I’m simply just cursed in this awful country.
So, that puts me at the mercy of the LTO. I was sick to my stomach just thinking about having to go there so I avoided it until I saw more and more police on the streets. Finally, I knew I needed to get it done. In the USA, I simply go to the DMV and say I lost my registration, they verify the info, check my ID, simply print the papers I need, and I’d pay the fee. Basically, it is a 1 step process. Yet, in the Philippines it is a 5-6 step process. This includes.
- Go to LTO to figure out what you need to do.
- Type out an affidavit stating the registration is lost.
- Get that affidavit notarized.
- Go to another LTO office and have the vehicle inspected. (this was actually free)
- Go to the police station to get the police blotter. 50 Pesos
- Back to LTO, wait for 2-3 hours and get the simple printout. (250 pesos)
Funny part is I tried to play dumb American. I said, I don’t understand the need for all these steps. I said, “In the USA, you would just need to verify me, and then hit the print button.” The LTO officer said to me, “Well, dis is de peelippines”. I kept things as nice as I could so I said, “So you are aware another country has a faster method that could easily be implemented here? It would help everyone, including your department. Sorry if it sounds insulting, but in the USA we don’t like to waste time and we try to cut out as much nonsense as possible.” I got kind of a blank stare, then she said, “welcome to de peelippines. We get audit an must hap our paperworks.”
So they know a faster way exists and would benefit everyone. HOwever, they refuse to do it because “Dis is dhe pi-lippines”. What kind of excuse is that? So, I came to the conclusion Filipino culture does not like things easy and straight to the point. They actually like to generate as much BS paperwork and create as many hurdles as possible. A better, faster, or simply more efficient way will never be tested or implemented simply because, “Well, dis is de peelippines. Not how we do tings.”
Well, since I dreaded sitting and waiting or simply going through the process I thought it would be so easy to just hire a fixer. Just hire a guy for 300 Pesos + expenses to take care of it all for me. However, I heard they are cracking down on fixers and there are signs everywhere not to use them. I mean, they have a sign printing in front of these buildings stating the penalties and that its against the law to use them
I decided against using a fixer since, it’s illegal of course. So, I was forced to embark on my scavenger hunt of simply getting a copy of my registration. Well, after getting all these things done over the total time frame of 6 hours, I then had to go and wait at the LTO with my completed tasks. I sat patiently for 2 hours in a very hot, overcrowded room. I kept getting up to check if they passed my name over or called me without me noticing. Yet, they just kept saying, “Not yet sir”.
So I was sitting near the cashier and there was a guy next to me. He had a backpack and kept going back and forth to the cashier. After about 5 times I then noticed he had a list with him and kept crossing off different pieces of info. Then it dawned on me, the guy was a fixer. He was operating with the cashier in the open despite the law, the rules, or the simple signs everywhere. Then another guy was going back and forth dealing with the cashier.
Then I realized there are fixers running all over the place. I was not even paying attention until I noticed them. Since filipinos copy each other whether it be sari-sari store, cell phone stall, food stall, etc, they were not hard to spot. Basically, they text and chat on the phone nonstop, they are going to various windows, and they have a small backpack or satchel. Plus the fact they are holding about 10 of the LTO #’s in their hand without trying to hide it whatsoever. So, thinking of potential PFB article, I went into covert, picture taking mode.
So, here are a couple of the “No Fixers Sign”:
Then, the most funny of the pics is the fixer dealing directly with the LTO guy. This guy was handing paperwork to the “officer of the day”. He was giving the officer paperwork where the officer, who would not get up for anyone else, would take the paperwork directly to the LTO offices inside. Of course, the “NO TO FIXERS” sign is right next to him.
So, what is the point of having laws in this place? Of course Filipinos never follow the laws or rules. If they were actually serious about this law, they could just sit in the LTO office for a couple of hours, find who deals with fixers, and then fire them. Very simple right?
Do they just invent laws so Filipinos can have fun and feel the thrill of breaking them? A friend told me the fixers are giving kickbacks to the various employees at the windows, like the cashier. He said the cashier can get like 20 pesos per transaction to move the documents to the top or simply to ignore dealing with a fixer. So, the 2 things Filipinos like most: breaking rules & getting a bribe.Published in