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Pinky Concha - Colmenares

Road sense driven to serve

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is an active verb in the motoring industry. Not many know that in the midst of the roaring engines of power, auto industry companies have been deeply involved in community development in its many forms. Did you know that hectares have been reforested and mangroves replanted? Many school buildings have been constructed and free vocational and technical education is offered with hundreds of graduates who now have better paying jobs. There are also road safety seminars conducted among those who are too young to drive to make them aware of the proper use of roads early. Another car company regularly conducts driving lessons to give proper instructions to enhance driving skills. And those are only among the many CSR projects that continue to be implemented without much publicity. The …

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China cites commitment to ‘peaceful development’ with Belt & Road initiative

Beijing – China’s commitment to push the Belt & Road initiative, a huge program to help develop countries along the old Silk Road, has gained much ground since it was introduced in 2013. In a recent forum in Beijing, it was revealed that the initiative recorded some $14 billion investments, created more than 60,000 employment opportunities, established cooperation agreements with some 30 countries, and developed 40 development zones in other countries. Yang Zhenwu, president of People’s Daily, the organizer of the media forum, called it the “Chinese plan to peaceful development, to help people in the region, and provides the new platform of trade investments.” People’s Daily, the organ of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, hosted the event. The paper is also the largest and most influential newspaper in the country, …

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Road sense laws to make roads safe

By now, every motorist should know that two laws related to road safety were passed two weeks ago: the law that penalizes distracted driving, and the law that mandates the installation of speed limiters.  In legal terms, those laws are known as Republic Act 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act, and Republic Act No. 10916 or the Speed Limiters Act of 2016. Much discussion has been going on in social media about these new laws, especially the one that is related to an act that seems to be usual among motorists — using the mobile phone to send a text message or an email, make a call, or to check one’s Facebook page.  Doing all of those actions that, by now, has become second nature to most people is what “distracted …

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Distracted driving

There’s a bill prohibiting the use of mobile phones while driving that was approved by the Senate last May and is waiting to enter bicameral deliberations before it is sent to the President for signing into law. It will likely not be approved anytime soon as more bills considered as more urgent will take the attention of President Duterte first. Unless someone famous or deeply affected by the issue moves to gather public outrage against distracted driving, which has caused many accidents. It may be difficult to get accurate figures on the number of accidents or even injuries caused by distracted driving and I wonder if there is even something like that in the police files. Can you imagine, for example, someone admitting that he was sending a text message as the …

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Road sense

Drunk driving remains a serious threat on the road despite the law and the stiff fines and penalties aimed to discourage anyone from taking one-too-many just before driving home. Recently, a news item on how Thailand deals with drunk drivers caught my attention because it gives a punishment that needs serious efforts to avoid. Thailand’s Department of Probation, so the news item said, sends drunk drivers and repeated traffic offenders to do morgue duty at hospitals. There had already been 1,733 drunk drivers sent to work in 47 hospital wards there during the last two months, according to Prasarn Mahaleetrakul, deputy director of the Department of Probation. Last week alone, the probation agency took 100 convicted drunk drivers to work in a Bangkok hospital morgue. The program was launched in April, during Thailand’s …

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All set for town hall presidential debate on April 24

On Sunday, April 24, two weeks before the elections, the five candidates for the highest office in the land will again try to sway more votes in the final PiliPINAS Debate at the Phinma-University of Pangasinan in Dagupan City. Sharing the stage for the last time before one of them becomes President of the Philippines are Vice-President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Grace Poe, and former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas. The final debate will bring ordinary people to ask the candidates about urgent issues affecting them under the town hall debate format organized by the Commission on Elections, Kapisanan ng mga Broadcasters ng Pilipinas (KBP), ABS-CBN and Manila Bulletin. This format was assigned to ABS-CBN after a “drawing of lots” facilitated by …

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‘Homestay’ at Mt. Pulag

Trust the Isuzu D-MAX to drive you to a new experience.  Two weeks ago, at the D-MAX Rediscovery Drive to Mt. Pulag, we discovered how ecological management has given locals a new enterprise. Many are unfamiliar with the word  “homestay”  but in a barangay 2,000 meters above sea level (MASL) at the Ranger Station of Mt. Pulag, Benguet, it is a new livelihood opportunity to the farmers who double as guides or porters to the thousands who visit the mountain to see the magnificent sunrise every year.  The popularity of that spectacular sunrise has been both a boon and a bane to the people and to the ecology of the mountain that is still considered sacred by the local tribes. Heavy foot traffic has destroyed much of the flora, especially at the bald …

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Driving the IPC president

It was not the first time for me to drive the president of Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) and neither was it the first time that I would be riding to Mt. Pulag in the D-Max. So, I knew I would be cheerful and alert. Last Monday, IPC president Hajime Koso gave a big smile when I told him I would be the first driver for the day.  He wanted to take the back seat, but I said “No, sit with me in front so we can talk.” He did not hesitate. He was ready for an adventure in any form — the mountain, the tent, even having an old woman driving the D-Max 3.0-liter in the “Rediscovery Drive to Mt. Pulag” event, Feb. 22-24. It was easy to talk to someone who …

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Take a look at the all-new Innova

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) on Friday (February 26, 2016) launched the all-new Toyota Innova  at the Bellevue Hotel in Tagbilaran, Bohol. The Innova completes the upgraded lineup of Toyota’s international Innovative Multi-Purpose Vehicle (IMV) series, which also includes the Hilux and the Fortuner. Prices start at P919,000 for the J gas manual transmission to P1.46 million for the V Diesel Automatic Transmission WP. Photo shows Satoru Suzuki, TMP president (second from left) with (from left) Ariel Arias, TMP senior vice president for marketing; Hiroki Nakajima, Toyota Motor Corporation  chief engineer for IMV project; and Yohei Murase, TMP executive vice-president.

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Pleasant surprises

You meet extraordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, like at dinner of well-crafted cuisine, where unexpectedly, they present you with an award to show their appreciation for your years of doing your job. Circumstances like that I will certainly keep in my memory bank because, one, I probably won’t be invited to a dinner with a surprise like that again; and two, sitting in a restaurant with the big men of the Toyota Dealers Association brings an air of elegance, you instantly forget the traffic you crawled through, and the deadline work you left behind, before you stepped in. For the 47 gentlemen and ladies behind the Toyota brand in the Philippines, it must have just been another relaxing dinner with friends.  What made it special were two matters to celebrate: to welcome …

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