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Timesman | I’m back!

It’s nice to be back to our beloved city after almost four months away on a journey that brought me to a new world that almost changed my outlook in life.

I am now on the first week of my 300-day here as a ‘balikbayan’ after the US Citizenship Immigration Service (USCIS) granted me this trip that allows a US permanent resident otherwise known as Green Card to travel out of the country. This is provided I will not exceed one year of my stay here, otherwise a reentry permit is required.

As a green card holder, I have the right to live and work permanently anywhere in the US; own property; apply for a driver’s license in my state or territory; leave and return to the US under certain condition; attend public school and college; purchase or own a property; join certain branches of the US Armed Forces; purchase or own a firearm (if allowed by state of Illinois where I live); apply to become US citizen once I am eligible; get Social Security, Supplemental Security income, and Medicare benefits if I am eligible; request visas for unmarried children to live in the US; and protected by all laws of the US, my state of residence, and local jurisdictions.

Yes, on vacation lang ako in my own country while working on what to do with my small property here and at the same time seeing to it that Jin Lorenz will finish his four-year course in Ateneo before joining me in the US.

I am still suffering from jet fatigue as of this writing as a result of my 19-hour flight from Chicago-Los Angeles-Manila-Davao with only a few hours of sleep compounded with fear while on that long flight whether I will ever reach my destination! Thank God, I’m now back to my normal life again!

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The Anti-Idling Ordinance passed by the City Council on first reading in last week’s session is welcome news to this ‘balikbayan.” I read it while still at the luggage claim area of the Davao airport upon my arrival here.

Finally, our city officials have come to a sensible resolution that may reduce if not solve pollution caused by motor vehicles or other means of transportation that emit carbon dioxide dangerous to health and the environment.

Under the proposed ordinance, vehicle owners should turn off the engines if they are parked or motionless for more than three minutes in any place in the city. Violators will be fined P1,000 for the first offense; P3,000 for the second offense; and P5,000 for the third offense.

Since it did not specify the fine for the fourth offense, we suggest that the penalty would be for the hard headed motorist to inhale the colorless, heavy gas coming from the exhaust pipe of the vehicle. Let’s see if he will not come to his senses.

Another good resolution that I may suggest to our city council is to pass an ordinance prohibiting household to own a car if they don’t have garage of their own. By doing so, this will decongest our streets of illegally parked vehicles of some owners who use the road as garage.

In many parts of the states I visited in the United States, like in Illinois, California, Missouri, Florida, Texas, Washington, DC, and other historical sites, among others, each state has its own rules and regulations distinct from each other, or from mother country-USA.

But as far as parking area is concerned, I noticed that many residential houses have no garage and only park their cars along the road fronting their residences. Almost all households have two or three cars, as I mentioned in my earlier columns, this is because there is no public utility vehicles except UBER and taxis, and commuter trains that serve the northern, southern, western and eastern parts of the US.

That’s why you can’t distinguish a street sweeper from a rich man in the US as even the lowly worker sports two or three cars in reporting for work.

And we also learned that most existing buildings and residential houses were yet built even before the civil war when there were only few cars. And that explains why buildings and residential houses have no garage of their own.

Davao City can make a difference if the city council takes this unsolicited advice seriously.
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ATTENTION HOUSE BUYERS: A fully-furnished residential house at posh Damosa Fairlane north of the city is for assume. Owner is leaving abroad for good. Please contact 09156987421 or tel. 295-2034 if interested. Sales agents are welcomed!

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