16 December 2009 – Wednesday
We collected my permanent Phlippines non-professional driving licence today, a plastic photo card that replaces the temporary one I have had since July. Surprisingly there were no forms to complete and no money to pay. Gina simply represented my old one and they swopped it for the new one. Gina needs to replace her student licence in the new year. Only public transport and truck drivers who drive for a living receive the professional version.
The LTO announced in October that from January next year all cars registered will also be fitted with a microchip tag as part of their new vehicle tracking system. The scope of this is still unclear to me. At present it seems to apply only to newly registered vehicles but I assume at some stage they will want the tags fitted to all vehicles. There has been much criticism in the press about the introduction of this “big brother” scheme which appears to have been launched without official approval and will raise a massive sum as the LTO charges the motorist for the tag.
There was no project engineer out at the construction site and no text message from him either so we have no idea whether he has succeeded in extracting the building permits from city hall. Yesterday Northcon were saying they expected to start construction on December 22nd which is next Tuesday. Philippines law requires the issue of building permits no later than 15 (working days we assume) days after the application is made.
The Mangligot site was beginning to rise alongside the Hyner site and a huge pile of gravel stood waiting to be spread and compacted. The charred remains of temporary lighting cans were evident so they must be moving forward with the two shifts now.