By Jose Bayani Baylon
THE other day I received an email from Makati Dog and Cat hospital. It was an alert actually, reminding me of the scheduled deworming for my nearly 9 year old Shih Tiu, Hayden.
The email was followed by a text message on the day of our appointment, complete with the time of the schedule and the purpose of the visit to the vet. It was, I told myself, an excellent example of the advantages of information technology being used in a very productive way, one that made a customer feel not only deeply cared for but professionally cared for as well.
I suppose I shouldn’t expect anything less from the Makati Dog and Cat hospital.
But why can’t I expect the same from the government?
Think about it: the database of drivers license holders is obviously at the fingertips of the government - of someone or at least of a few people who are in charge of it. That database should be able to tell those in charge of issuing our drivers licenses the following 1) how many licenses there are in existence; 2) when they will expire and 3) how many will expire on each day of the year.
From these bits and pieces of information the planners in government should then be able to predict the demand for plastic drivers licenses based on current holders alone. They can add a certain number based on a projection of how many new drivers licenses will need to be issued, less a smaller number (perhaps) for those who will pass away within the same period of time. From the aggregate number, the policy makers can then set the number of plastic licenses they need to produce per month. And of course they’d know how long it will take to produce this number which gives them all the information they need to plan for the demand.
There shouldn’t be any reason why any applicant will have to wait months before he gets his license.
The same applies for passports. To a certain extent you can apply the same to the issuance of car plates.
But this isn’t reality in the Philippines, far from it. The reality is a government bureaucracy that seems unable to plan and plan properly so that drivers drive with paper licenses (and, like me, are unable to obtain rentals when abroad!); new vehicles are on the road sans proper license plates, and Filipinos wait and wait and wait just to get a proper passport.
Why should we even wonder why successive Governments get blindsided by terrorists and radicals, when they couldn’t get their acts together just for our passports and drivers licenses and car plates?
Once we get someone in office that gets the Philippines to work, believe me he (or she) can remain in office for life!