IN almost every private car, taxi, jeepney or bus, trucks and even in some heavy equipment, you’ll find the ubiquitous rosary hanging on rearview mirrors.
But land transportation officials included a ban on rosaries and religious icons hanging from dashboards when they started implementing the Anti-Distracted Driving Act.
That struck a sensitive chord in this predominantly-Catholic country, and “bigly,” as then US presidential bet Donald Trump was thought to have said in a September 26 debate.
Some senators are aghast the law mainly banning the use of cellphones while driving, now bans even rosaries and car air fresheners from dashboards.
Perhaps some officials saw a chance to clean up car windshields. See, windshields of most vehicles, especially those for public transport, are pasted with various stickers.
They’re using the new law to clean up the vehicles’ windshields so they might as well call it as the “clean windshield law.”
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III asked the committee on public services chaired by Sen. Grace Poe to review the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).
Well, items including rosaries can still be placed on the rearview mirror, as long as these are coiled up so they don’t swing around, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said.
A photo floating in the internet captioned, “How Catholics know they’re driving too fast,” shows a rosary swinging from a rearview mirror, with Christ clinging on the cross.
Fr. Jerome Secillano, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ permanent committee on public affairs executive secretary, said rosaries and small religious statues in vehicles do not cause accidents.
Secillano said accidents are caused by mechanical problems and the drivers’ ignorance and abusive behavior on the road.
But it’s another thing if most of the windshield is covered with stickers marked “Drive Safely.”
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on May 24, 2017.
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