In spite of the billions of pesos spent by the government in infrastructure to improve the flow of traffic in the country, heavy traffic is still a big pain for most motorists and is a major issue especially for urbanized areas.
In Metro Manila, Local Government Units have been working together to assign corridors where motorists can pass to get access through cities and avoid major thoroughfares like EDSA. One such project is the Mabuhay Lane, a program of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority wherein 19 major and minor roads have been designated to act as alternate routes for motorists. These roads can be found to stretch from Quezon City, Pasig, Mandaluyong, and Makati.
In the south, the Las Piñas City LGU pioneered the opening of adjacent villages wherein its interconnected roads can be used by residents to avoid the perennially congested Alabang-Zapote Road. Called the Friendship Route, Las Piñas residents were given by the LGU stickers for the cars so they can pass through the villages with no problem. In nearby Cavite City, they followed suit by laying out the Solidarity Lane and the issuance of Solidarity Stickers.
In Paranaque City, the LGU attempted to replicate the highly-successful program but was met opposition from the officials of the biggest subdivision in the country, BF Homes. BF Homes is home to more than 10,000 dwellings, and is so big that it straddles three cities; Paranaque, Las Piñas, and Muntinlupa. The roads within the BF Homes subdivision provides easy access to and from the three cities; well, it used to be, until most of the access gates were controlled by the United BF Homes Association, Inc. (UBFHAI), which is the umbrella organization of all the enclaves and home-owners association inside BF.
Access Stickers were then required by the UBFHAI for its residents to gain entry to the village’s seven gates. Residents from neighboring villages in Las Pinas and Muntinlupa were also required to get a non-resident sticker to gain access to the village roads. Initially, the cost of the stickers was nominal and easy to get. But since the demand was considerable, the sticker cost got higher and much harder to acquire. Even legitimate residents and property owners were given a hard time by the association to get the stickers, in spite the fact that association have computerized records of the residents buying access stickers for their residents.
For 2021, the Association made it harder for residents to get stickers when they disapproved sticker applications for vehicles that are not under the name of the resident—in spite of the fact that the owner has a notarized Deed of Sale for the vehicle.
Residents of the village who don’t have time to have the title of the vehicle transferred to their names mainly because of the ongoing pandemic, are forced to use the vehicle entry for non-residents and show their IDs all the time. Forced to suffer the consequence of not being allowed to purchase a ‘resident sticker,’ the aggrieved residents are forced to buy fake stickers online just so they can gain easy access to their abodes.
It is quite easy to get your hands on these stickers as they can be purchased on social media. A source, whom we cannot name, ordered a sticker for us for the Las Piñas side of BF Homes, which we got hold of for only P600. Our source also hooked us up with a printer who can print an exact replica of the village sticker, sans the security code, through a photo of an actual sticker. We were planning to use it for this story but the actual sticker never reached us. However, it can be done.
The crux of the matter is, if you make it extremely hard for people to acquire something that is essential, they can and will resort to other ways of obtaining it.