Done and Not/ Law-abiding and Not


Scheduled (ugh, the word reminds me of some people so lacking in EQ) a trip to the QC City Hall today to pay real estate tax. Today is Jan. 30.

Wrong mistake made by the likes of me who virtually lives in a cocoon. Why wrong?

a. When we got to QC City Hall, we asked the guard where the Treasurer’s Office was. He pointed us to a section beyond some barrier. But when he learned I was in a wheelchair, he let us through after extracting a promise from the WM driver that he’d go out after dropping me off.

b. Wow, the lines were long, or was that one line? And the line’s demographic profile was that of men and women in their early 20s. They were holding some documents in their hand. A tinge of envy there: these young people had property for which they were paying taxes, I thought, and they are so young. The property I was paying for had been bought by my mother.

c. Another security guard beyond the barrier approached the WM and asked why we were there. When told it was to pay RE tax, he took charge. From the WM he pushed my wheelchair past the lines and that made me feel guilty actually, I don’t like people to be bypassed because of me. Plus I wondered, what could these people be thinking? Note, I was dressed simply. Pearl earrings, a watch, a necklace whose pendant was concealed by my black and white striped T-shirt’s neckline. And I had a pink and black bag. The T-shirt has become my wash and wear get-up in recent months. Dolman sleeves almost, very loose and comfortable but not overly big.

d. At the assessor’s office, security guard approached a window and asked if the person computing stuff had much to do. He was ignored. He then looked at me and said, “Marami ata.” Then he moved to the next window. He gave my receipt from last year but I wasn’t given a number. SO I wondered how I’d know my papers (assessment) were ready. As I waited with the rest, I tried to read an ebook from my phone but the din was rather discomfiting and I couldn’t get past a few sentences. I just decided to watch the screen announcing whose papers were done and noted how one lady asked which counter had hers because she saw her number flashed on the screen. Helpful security guard’s voice boomed as he asked who had the lady’s papers. Another lady was asking about her papers in another counter. Merry mix-up because the other lady went to the wrong counter, ergo domino effect. Luckily involving only two.

e. I didn’t take note of the time but before long, guard went to the counter and got my papers, handed them to me and wheeled me out of assessment. To the payment office. To the counter that read “Seniors and PWDS.” Just one counter. I noticed the other counters had Business Permit identifiers. I learned why.

f. As I was waiting in line (second) for my turn to pay, a lady authoritatively said the people should not go beyond a  certain spot; they’d be evicted if they did. And I don’t know if someone asked her or she just said, “Ang deadline para sa real estate tax with discount ay March 31 pa. Kung ako sa iyo, babalik na lang ako.” Yikee. Guilty. According to her, deadline of business permit payments is Jan 31, ergo they’d even be open tomorrow. Oops. (when I was recounting this to husband when I got home he said I know to whom you are referring)

So there: moral of the story: unless you need to pay for your business permit, steer clear of the treasurer’s office in City Hall toward and on end month!

So what was the business of the young people lining up? It had something to do with work permits. there was a warning there that the office in charge would close at 4. I felt so bad for those in line. Likely some of them would have to go back another day.

All in all, I must have taken 30-40 minutes in the City Hall.

BUT I forgot to go to COMeleC.

Months back, I got mail saying I had to update my bio-something – biometrics, I remember now, as I hadn’t voted during the past two elections. So just as I called City Hall to ask for directions to the office for RE payments, I also called COMELEC, District 3 in particular.

I was given directions but as I knew next to nothing about the area, they weren’t much help. The person I spoke with said it would take a short while, hardly any people came. As for directions to the office, I could ask the guard.

BUT I clean forgot. I think because I was so relieved to have finished paying in such a short time.

PLus, even before leaving for City Hall, I wondered whether voting would be worth it, given the officials we have. True, there are some who make things work, but a better number don’t.

So there.

Bad citizen. Okay, maybe if FVR ran for president again, I’ll go to COMELEC to comply with the requirements.

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