Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Government waste

I found this silly example of government waste while waiting at a bus stop at the border of Argao and Sibonga in Cebu.

Notice the two identical signs on both sides of the street.

Welcome: Cebu 4th Engineering District

Welcome: Cebu 2th Engineering District

Would it have been so hard for these two engineering districts to use their heads a bit, get some talks going, and just build a single signpost with the welcome messages on both sides? Look at this... those are first-class quality road signs. They don't come cheap. With so much poverty around, and when we are so lacking in terms of road signs and other infrastructure, this is not the way that money should be spent.

This kind of thing happens all the time, especially in the Philippines, and not just in government. A lack of people working together for common sense solutions to shared problems.

Amidst the absurdity of it all, I nearly forgot to mention an even more basic issue: That the only people these signs help are the people who made them. They could have simply been signs welcoming travelers to to municipalities of Argao or Sibonga. Why would anyone ever ever need to be welcomed to an engineering district?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

McDonald's needs to update their packaging

Hey, McDonald's, once in a while you need to redesign your take-out packaging! Or at least keep it at some packaging design that doesn't bear a prominent scar reminding me how long you've been using it.

I'm sure you guys are really proud of sponsoring the 2004 Olympics in Athens, which was a great thing, but come on... That was 2004. This is 2009. A completely different Summer Olympics has come and gone, and you've now had the old Athens logo on your cups for an entire olympiad.

Copyright 1996. That was a whole 13 years ago. Is it the styrofoam that's copyrighted here, or the meal? Either way, it makes me feel like I'm eating a relic of the 1990s whenever I order longganisa.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why do Jollibee and McDonald's charge so much for iced tea?

Unfortunately the title of this post poses a question to which I have no answer.

If you want iced tea instead of Coke with your value meal at McDonald's or Jollibee, you have to add 12 pesos more to the price of the value meal. What's the deal with this? Iced tea is supposed to be cheap. In fact, iced tea is supposed to be cheap cheap cheap. Certainly less expensive than Coke.

They use Nestea dispensers, don't they? Let me do some math: A few days ago I bought a pack of powdered Nestea that costs 55 pesos, and the packaging says it's good enough to make 5 liters. Now, assuming a serving size of 16 fl oz (that's the size of their iced tea cups at McDonald's or Jollibee), it should cost them just 5.20 pesos to make. Probably less since they're surely getting the Nestea in large quantities at wholesale prices.

And how much does their cup of iced tea alone cost? Believe it or not-- 40 freakin' pesos.

I had wanted to try not drinking soft drinks as a token sacrifice for Lent, but it's annoying that it comes packed with an unwanted bonus sacrifice of having to pay extra for something that should cost less. Too bad the price of iced tea isn't something that could be government regulated, like taxi and bus fares. I know it's nothing illegal, but it feels like I'm being robbed.