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No ifs and buts about it
By mlq3 Posted in Events Mode on July 6, 2008 77 Comments 1 min read
The Explainer: Towards a People’s Budget Previous If you can't beat 'em, distract 'em Next


Read Uniffors.

(yes, this is a day late, but better late than never)

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  1. Wait, I’m willing to pay for Lauro Baja’s cruise on Sulpicio Lines to New York federal prison…

  2. Considering the volume of cargo and passenger traffic that Sulpicio Lines handles, it is inconceivable that their operations would be entirely taken out…that would cause a major economic dislocation, not to say suffering on the part of many impoverished families and big and small businesses.

    Could the upshot a successful campaign against Sulpicio then merely result in the government taking it over, as GMA has hinted?

    Would that not conceivably result in some even bigger tragedy, considering that the typhoon season has barely begun?

    I’m mad at Sulpicio Lines too, but what exactly are we asking for here?

  3. I think we don’t really need a closure of Sulpicio.

    It should be more about the prosecution and imprisonment of an ACCOUNTABLE executive. There needs to be one person singled out for the guillotine.

    Poor bastard of course. But hey, there is always one person where the buck should stop in a truly modern society.

  4. I think GOP should should close the Sulpicio Lines’ operation. Five fatal incidents are no accidents. In my book, its just plain disregard for peoples’ lives.

    And WTF is that Bishop trying to do!!!

  5. make up your mind, guys. given that sulpicio is the ONLY major shipping line in the philippines providing relatively cheap transportation to and from each major island of the country, how could you afford to stop its operations instantaneously, even if you could legally? do you think “accidents” would not occur under someone else’s control, including the government’s? meanwhile, should life for all the people and families depending on the company be put on hold while a suitable replacement is being determined?

    i think your reactions are more emotional than rational. it’s easy and simplistic to demand “stop sulpicio lines”. it’s not as easy to come up with real solution.

  6. More than punitive measures we need remedial measures to address the shipping industry, in terms of safety, competition, and cost.

  7. Since the government needs funds, taking over Sulpicio so that its earnings from operations can fund the improvement of the shipping industry, instead of further enriching the Go Family, should be looked into. Perhaps it can temporarily be attached to the Philippine navy, which also need ships.

  8. I think the Go family will do the country a great service by offering all the vessels of Sulpicio Lines to the Philippine Navy for use as target practice.

    Seriously, there are other shipping lines that provide better and safer service such as the ones run by WGA. The downside to the closure of Sulpicio Lines will only be short-term pain. Its competitors will quickly fill the void it will leave.

  9. allowing the government to come up with a better solution while putting sulpicio on hold for at least 3 months especially the route from manila to cebu or other interisland travel. There are lots of alternative travel like land transportation from manila to ormoc, then ormoc to cebu. I know there’s another route , actually shorter. My friend backpack the whole Philippines using buses with AC.
    If we allow Sulpicio to go back to business as usual, the world will look at us as a country of impossible. This tragedy is not only domestic. The history and bad reputation of this company will actually scare foreign capital and hurt our credibility even further. Let’s do what’s right for the country and for the majority. The students and seniors will enjoy a discounted rates, at the same time small businesses can be subsidized thru discounted shipping of goods. The government can hire more employees. Sulpicio is for profit. That’s all there is to it.

    Most of our private investors/investments are government-guaranteed loans. When private entities default, our government guarantees the payment. Sulpicio is not a government-guranteed investment , perfect to become a public transportation. The government should be firm and allow a fair sale to occur. Sulpicio on the other hand may venture into a different business.

    List of government-back loans…

  10. grabe talaga si bencard.

    sulpicio is responsible for the top 5 worst peacetime maritime disasters and all you can think about are short term pains????

    the competitors, who have better safety records, will be more than happy to fill in the gap.

  11. Here is one suggestion of what the Regulators can do with whatever left in the inventory of Sulpicio Lines.

    Have a very, very Reputable Marine Safety Investigators check all their ships for fitness and also have their operations under supervision until satisfied if it is up to Standard, if not then decide…

  12. All Trillanes could do is file a bill, o pati ba yun wala na din?

    14th Congress
    Senate Bill No. 1944

    Filed on December 7, 2007 by Trillanes IV, Antonio “Sonny” F.

    nirecycle lang ito from the bill filed by shahani a decade ago

    pwede naman magkahearing ah.

    isabay na nila sa cast guard bills:

    S. B. No. 1142

    AN ACT

    isabay na din nila pakiusa p ni escudero

    Pass Coast Guard bill, modernize PAGASA–Escudero

    Escudero is among the many senators who filed a bill to reorganize the Philippine Coast Guard. Among them are Senators Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Richard Gordon, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Rodolfo Biazon. Their bills are still pending at committee level after being referred to the Senate committee on national defense and security.

    sinabi ko na dahilan ng stalemate






    get your act together!

    now to that global maritime gizmo

    sure it was the time of tobacco

    the corruption was discovered during estrada and had it stopped like the centennial projects

    pati procurement law natin di pa plantsado they have to fix that too.

    or maybe the law is not always the answer.

  13. as to our shipbuilders they have to make the cost of doing business here very uncostly it starts at the baranggay level.

    everything is costly here ;alam na natin me mga ship builders dito.
    nag mahal ng finished products tapos dahil mahal nga mag produce hanggang maliliit na ferry boats lang ang nagagawa we import junk instead.

    nenaco has its own turnaround issue sumali pa nga si manny pangilinan di pa din sila masyado nakakarecover sa mga utang nito
    ihiwalay na natin yung sinuspend nuon ang operation ng nenaco dahil iba ang sinusuportahan ni MVP. I already mentioned na dagdag bawas din ang ginawa nila ;sell three buy one pero used pa din ang binili nila.

    aboitiz it only has only three super ferrys running.
    and I might have mentioned Aboitiz is more into POWER now literally and figuratively.

    government takeover? yeah winston garcia should do it but with the same fleet? rejects junk and retirable vessels,what can a government takeover do.
    are we back to the question of nationalization and denationalization.

  14. Aren’t these ships supposed to undergo testing first by Lloyd’s of London for seaworthiness before it is even allowed insurance and later actual transport?

    I remember I had to send a gadget I designed to Lloyd’s Register of Shipping before it could be installed in any of PNOC’s power barges. It’s just a small electronic device no bigger than a chocolate bar that indicates whether the navigational lights have gone busted. It was very stringent, Lloyd’s would not approve of insurance without the test, the testing cost more than the device itself. If this is the case, why would a defective ship be allowed to sail by our own regulators? Don’t they require LRS inspection and insurance anymore?

  15. cvj, while the navy may have the knowhow to sail a ship for sea battle, i don’t know if it has the expertise to operate a shipping line to transport passengers and cargo. it sounds “simple, really” but i think there’s more to sailing a commercial ship than just keeping it afloat and reaching its destination. so you guys think the government can handle it better, huh? can you name one government-run common carrier that operates efficiently and prosperously? are you familiar with the manila railroad co. and what happened to it after the politicians took over?

    i understand that none of the competitors are big enough to absorb the business of sulpicio. i think it has the largest volume of transport services between manila, cebu and mindanao. instant cessation of operation by sulpicio will cause havoc to the business sector, the public and the country in general. overland transportation is too cumbersome, limited and prohibitive, especially with the current price of oil. there is no inter-island railroad. air transport for the common citizens is too inadequate and expensive to mention.

  16. The logic of resorting to privatization because we fear the incompetence of government has reached its limit in the case of Sulpicio. We have seen how market forces and private competition are useless against the negligence of an oligopoly. In any Society, government is the last resort to handle these kinds of failures, so at some point, we have to tackle the problem of government incompetence head on. Failing to rejuvenate government would leave us at the point where the public has no choice but to tolerate the practices of Oligarchs like the Go family.

  17. have to agree with bencard.

    but allow me to have my penny for my thoughts.

    government management is as inefficient as our private sector’s management

    I wish jude was here to elaborate,remember the things he said about maynilad take over form mwss together with manila water(he talked only about maynilad though),but he was at the side of winston garcia that time so have not heard of the management track record of government from him.

    I understand the airforce early retirees did some crash courses fro them to run commercial planes.

    the navy is different from the airforce,
    not all navy officials get to have command at sea duties.most of them stay in the offices for almost thirty years or their entire careers.
    di tulad ng mag airforce lahat sila pwede maging piloto.

    and they have too much to handle already,even combined with our coast guard,it is hard to guard our coastlines with little resources.
    kaya mas feasible na imerge na lang ang function ng dalawa kung ang problema lang dahil civilian ang isa di pwede armado.(simpol problem taon taon na debate) nothing is simple,really.

    tongue, with all your sources and experiences alam mo na ang sagot dyan sa insurance,at sa mga regulators natin.

  18. Karl, far be it for me to subscribe to the ‘it’s simple, really’ mantra. (You and Bencard must have confused me with someone else. ) Of course, it’s not simple but there is a point where avoiding a government-based solution is no longer viable. In China, they have the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to step up in times of disaster. It’s time for our desk-bound Philippine Navy to step up. Let’s give them a chance to prove themselves.

  19. OK CVJ gotcha!

    (sorry if I confused you with benign0 )

    Yeah, it is not simple but it is not impossible either.

    come to think of it, our shipbuilders and naval architects that we have so many; must be borrowed, and of course compensated ;for this take over to make sure that the ships are seaworthy’ and of course no shortcuts in insurance to acknowledge the point raised by Toungue.

    raising that there are many deskbound naval officers can be an argument that there are many of them to lend to sulpicio.

  20. looking at initial capital investment from the government side, it might be worth to pursue. government has been guaranteeing loans anyway. insurance in terms of death or insurance in terms of losses from profit and insurance due to replacement will be the government’s responsibility. There will be a direct accountability in the future. Insurance policy can also be purchased.
    Another good reason by cvj…is not to tolerate the bad practices of the Oligarch. 5 times is more than enough

  21. We average twenty major typhoons a year. Five accidents in twenty years is perhaps too many. But I think these are acts of God, (a cruel, jealous God if what they are teaching public school kids is to be believed.) Piling on Sulpicio would be inconsistent if we don’t also jump on the even Bigger Liars that keep the population ignorant, superstitious and unable to enforce all kinds of laws and regulations that could’ve prevented Yahweh’s serial mass homicides.

  22. DJB : The typhoon is the act of God. Responsibility for a vessel being God’s or one or two men (or women)? Depends on the circumstances. As you are acutely aware, SuperFerry14 was sunk by Muslim terrorists.

    At the same time, one has to feel antipathy to religious leaders who are unable to answer the question “… does God allow bad things to happen to good people?”

  23. “one has to feel antipathy to religious leaders who are unable to answer the question… does God allow bad things to happen to good people?”

    Pfsh. Religious leaders who can’t answer this question deserve antipathy for being stupid. ‘Duh’ is the answer. And the only honest answer to the follow-up Why? is I dont know. Job tried asking that question (why) and God didnt answer him either.

    Piling on Sulpicio would be inconsistent if we don’t also jump on the even Bigger Liars that keep the population ignorant, superstitious and unable to enforce all kinds of laws and regulations that could’ve prevented Yahweh’s serial mass homicides.

    Politicians? DJB lays the blame squarely on the Catholic hierarchy but the blame is more accurately laid at the politicians’ feet. As Ive noted in the previous thread, even Muslim Filipinos are multiplying despite the fact that they arent under Catholic jurisdiction. And despite DJB’s claim that the Catholics exert undue influence over the supposedly secular government leadership, it is the Muslim Filipinos that the government defied the separation clause by putting up the Office of Muslim Affairs one of whose objectives is: “to uplift and improve the conditions of the Muslim Filipinos”. And they defied the constitution because of politics. Politics is to blame.

  24. it is the Muslim Filipinos that the government defied the separation clause by putting up the Office of Muslim Affairs

    I meant “it is for the Muslim Filipinos that the government defied the separation clause by putting up the Office of Muslim Affairs”

  25. But what happen to Wiliam Lines? I have avoided Sulpicio lines long time ago in going to Masbate. I always took william lines. and when William lines is fully booked I just took the bus all the way to Bulan Sorsogon and take a small ferry from Bulan Port to Masbate. Well kung may budget I took the plane.

    Anyways, if sulpicio lines is the only major Shipping lines today. I am not joining the blogswarm against the Sulpicio lines for the same reasons that Bencard stated

  26. I also agree with benigno. No need to close sulpicio lines. Just prosecute the negligent person reposible for the tragedy if there is one

  27. i dont know..

    40% trade is somewhat significant..
    besides, i think its the cheapest inter-island cargo forwarder..
    and its the only one operating davao-manila cargo with the demise of WGA’s Superferry 14..

  28. digressing….

    if only our politicians and political players would emulate the humility of Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer after each election it would be much much better Philippines..

    Viva Rafa!!!!!!!

  29. After the “storms” and the Sulpicio Lines debacles we will all be back to another serious issues, inevitable issues that stare at every one’s face even before the storm, FOOD and the skyrocketing prices and if not addressed rightfully could be an even stronger storm.

    In a continuing series on Food …Hungry for Answers, the Star have the perspectives of The Wheat Kings that if you read and consider them have the most sense perhaps in helping getting to the Answers:

    Petti Fong
    Western Canada Bureau Chief
    In a world of growing hunger, the food producer is king.
    Western Canadian grain farmers were once the lowliest of all, but just two years after grain prices bottomed out, they are reaping the benefits of having sown what is so desperately needed: food.

    The price of grain has soared this past year, turning profits for farmers once on the verge of bankruptcy.

    “Farmers have never seen a year like (this), wonderful crop, unbelievable prices,” says Dan Mourre, a farmer near Rosetown, Sask. “There are a lot of happy people around. If oil can go up to $150 a barrel, why shouldn’t wheat go to $15 a bushel?”

    That kind of optimism would make sense for anyone working in any other industry. But this is farming, and farmers invariably describe themselves as hopeful, yet pessimistic

    In six months, the price of durum went from $4 a bushel to $12; lentil, which three years ago sold at 10 cents a pound, now goes for four times that amount. However, two years ago, phosphate fertilizer was $400 a tonne, this year it’s $1,400 and by next spring, Mourre says it could be more than $2,200 per tonne.

    His father-in-law, Ken Ritter, who farms in nearby Kindersley, says times are better, yes, but the risks are higher.

    “It’s good to be a grain farmer these days, but that wasn’t always the case. Everyone knows the good times may only last a year,” he says.

    Fast forward>>>>

    While times may be good now based simply on high prices, the best security for the future of Canadian farming lies in boosting food security elsewhere, says Bill Toews, who farms grain in Kane, Man.

    A little bit of fear on the demand side has a significant effect on prices and Toews cringes at the undeniable truth that a food crisis affects farmers positively.

    Farmers simply don’t have the kind of control to create demand or solve the problem, he says.

    What they can do is make contribution to food grain banks, which he and others have done, and try to use their increased profit margin during these boom times to be more productive in the years ahead and prepare for the inevitable lean seasons. On the farm and at the government level, the time is now to prepare and change policies.

    “The whole issue of food security has to become a higher priority and underdeveloped countries need to develop their own food security,” he says. There are too many examples of developing countries growing ornamental crops for export to pay off loans from the IMF and importing foods from countries like the U.S.,” Toews says.

    “This scare has to change the priority of countries. Countries have a right to protect their food security in whatever way they can and Canadians should help them with that.”

    Manitoba farmer Rob Brunel says he knows that in many countries there are lineups for food and people are going broke to feed their families. He understands this even as he is surrounded as far as his eye can see by the raw ingredients he and his family have grown for four generations.
    “I’ve heard my father and grandfather say in the past that the world is running out of food,” says Brunel. “I never thought too much about the reality of that. But I hope those who need what we produce get it.”

  30. GARDENIA LARRAZABAL, via e-mail, informs all (via a letter to the editor) that Princess of the Stars 5th Sulpicio to sink, not 4th

    Other Most Read Stories x

    o Frank’s other face
    o Stopping coups
    o Take over Sulpicio Lines?
    o Prosperity claims belied
    o More notes on KFC and senior citizens
    o Most corrupt
    o The origins of Grandparents’ Day
    o Bringing the world to our shores
    o Travails of spokespersons
    o Nobodies
    o Princess of the Stars 5th to sink, not 4th
    o Humility is the key
    Opinion Most Read RSS
    Close this

    MANILA, Philippines – I wonder why the vessel MV Boholana Princess, also owned by Sulpicio Lines, is never mentioned among the Sulpicio vessels that sank. I also wonder why there was no news of the sinking at that time.

    I was a passenger on that ill-fated voyage and here’s my first-hand account: MV Boholana Princess left Cebu for Ormoc at 11 p.m. on Dec. 15,1990. Past midnight, the boat suddenly tilted to the left at an angle of 45 degrees. Passengers were startled out of their sleep, wondering what was happening. But there was no announcement through the public address system, or word from the ship’s captain and crew, about what was going on.


    The Philippine media never reported the Boholana Princess sinking??????

  31. @ Vic,

    Yes, the Philippines will now have to move forward from a fatal disaster to a situation, less deadly, but could have deadly results to say the least. The economic hardships, unleashed by inflation in the prices of fuel and food, will test the mettle and resilience of governments worldwide.

    In a sense, many countries are better prepared against a possible stagflation i.e. economic downturn with price inflation. Malaysia and Thailand have more diversified economies. Vietnam is self-sufficient in rice. China has 1.8 trillion dollars in reserves. etc.

    Quo vadis Philippines? Our GNP is heavily dependent on exports and OFW remittances. Both will be affected by the slowdown in overseas markets and demand for foreign labor in host countries.

    Things will never be the same. Hard times are here to stay.

  32. PSI, i do believe in the old saying about crisis and opportunity going hand in hand. For example, Vietnam’s key reform, which was the dismantling of collective farming (back to household farms) was carried out in one of its most desparate hours (outside war time that is).

    By the same token, we can take this opportunity to implement the reforms that matter which involve, for starters, implementing the late FPJ’s vision of Food Security (which was ridiculed by the Middle Class Intelligenstia back in 2004). Now is also the time for the Oligarchs to think of sharing their wealth via land reform and other wealth sharing programs. On the government’s part, it should widen the scope of its 500 peso per month dole out program and make it more permanent. The actions that need to be taken to avert disaster are also the same sort of actions that can be the basis for future prosperity.

  33. “DJB : The typhoon is the act of God. Responsibility for a vessel being God’s or one or two men (or women)? Depends on the circumstances. As you are acutely aware, SuperFerry14 was sunk by Muslim terrorists. “-UP N

    Command responsibility should be invoke here, eh?

  34. to Bert: Do you mean GMA when you say “..command responsibility”?

    Because GMA can always say “No!! No!! No!! You can’t blame me. I was not even in the vicinity of the Princess Stars…. not when it sank, and not for the days thereafter!!!” 😐

    Now DJB’s position against these rleigion “chains-of-commaand” makes sense. I know the CBCP has consistntly preached that The Great Power commands all and everythng. But the CBCP will deny that ulltimate responsibility (for Princess Stars sinking) belongs to The Great Power who could have, but did not, send a lightning-bolt to kill the captain before he sailed out of Manila.

  35. ‘Sulpicio is suing BMI for alleged “gross violation of rules in investigation.” –

    If there is a blogswarm to stop Sulpicio Lines, it looks like the company is pulling out all the stops to keep open.

    First, the ecclesiastical padrino. Second, the usual TRO magic. I won’t be surprised if Congressmen come next. Before we know it, everybody is guilty but them.

  36. PSImeon, somewhere in the articles it was mentioned that the current Government did a 100% untying of Foreign Aid for Food, which use to be 90% then 50% and now recepients of Foreign Aids can procure food in any source to their Advantage in Terms of Prices and Logistics instead of buying from donor country..I hope the Good U.S.A already untied their Foreign Aids for Food too. That could also help in promoting local food Productions.

  37. cvj, re your’s @ 9:45 am, are you willing to grant pgma “emergency powers” to legally take over sulpicio lines and stop its operations outright?

    psimeon, i’m not an advocate for sulpicio lines but i think it’s within their right to sue anyone against whom they think they have a cause of action. i don’t think they are worried about being “stopped” without due process.

    upn, on your “now djb’s position against these religion “chains of command” makes sense.”

    i don’t know if you said that tongue-in-cheek, as you seem to do often. but in human law, liability for an injury attaches to the entity that is responsible for the “proximate cause”, not necessarily the “ultimate cause”. roughly, proximate, aka direct cause, is one that directly causes the injury, unbroken by an intervening factor. as i see it, in the sulpicio case, the ultimate cause may be an act of God but the proximate cause is the negligence of men ( whose, is a matter for legal and judicial determination).

  38. “I hope the Good U.S.A already untied their Foreign Aids for Food too.” -Vic

    I believe “Food Security” in the agenda during the recent visit to Washington, D.C. involved getting assurances that the U.S. will provide rice, wheat, and other grains in the event of food shortges.

    I don’t think there was any “untying” made. In fact, with those assurances, the more U.S. aid will be tied to American supplies.

  39. bencard,

    I get your point. Dura lex, sed ex.

    But legal procedures tempered with some compassionate gestures are in order. Not the “in your face” attitude of Sulpicio Lines of blaming everybody. After all, the owners might just lose a business. Thousands already lost their lives.

  40. It’s all about choices.
    Make the cost of flying cheaper by using military transport aircraft. Indonesia owns IPTN with CASA. It manufactures the CN-235 for military transport and regional airliner. The Philippine Air Force should go into the airline business using the same aircraft or something similar. The Philippine Navy, on the other hand, can concentrate on moving cargo by ship using landing ships. This will allow the 2 services to have the equipment that they need and the money to maintain them.

  41. vic: that article you pointed to illustrates other complications to FoodAid. (i) Canada, very efficient in “creating food”, sells meat, wheat and other grains at very low prices (Canada/US/Brazil/australia has depressed food prices all over the world. Governments of poorer countries bought Canada/US grain; low profits to local farming; farmers moved to the cities; (ii) Canada/US/Australia farmers when they “manufacture” for export. are vulnerable to the whims of external markets.
    This past spring, the Canadian government paid pork producers $50 million to kill off 150,000 pigs to avoid the industry being decimated. The pigs had the misfortune of being bred during times of increased feed prices, an uncompetitive Canadian dollar and skyrocketing transportation costs.

    (iii) Farming in developing countries are loony, too. …underdeveloped countries need to develop their own food security,” he says. There are too many examples of developing countries growing ornamental crops for export to pay off loans from the IMF and importing foods from countries like the U.S.”

    During food emergencies, 100% “untying” makes sense. For sustained programs (e.g. US sending food to North Korea, that the food-aid is “tied” can be defended) Why should US buy rice from Thailand to send to Philippines when US rice is just as cheap? And again, the leaders of the developing countries want “food-aid-untying” to be the equivalent of these government leaders receiving dollar- or euro-currency. Come on, vic… even Canadians won’t be this naive.

  42. News: Londoners mark 3rd anniversary of bombings
    Last Updated: Monday, July 7, 2008 | 6:32 AM ET

    Londoners marked the third anniversary Monday of suicide bomb attacks that killed 52 bus and subway passengers. Mayor Boris Johnson and government officials laid flowers outside King’s Cross train and subway station at 8:50 a.m., the site of the deadliest attacks during the morning rush hour of July 7 three years ago.
    – – – – –
    Mayor Johnson laid a memorial card that said: “We honour the memory of those who died on 7/7 2005, we salute the courage of those who were injured and our thoughts and prayers are with all victims and their families.”

    Victims’ relatives also held private ceremonies at the other explosion sites at London’s Russell Square, Aldgate and Edgware Road stations, and in Tavistock Square, where the bus exploded.


    Does metro-Manila lay or toss flowers into Manila Bay for SuperFerry14?

    I remember deQuiros fuming and ranting and practically apoplectic that the US was so effusive in commemorating the names of those who died on 9-11. A few years has passed since 2004. Has deQuiros led any action to commemorate the names of those who died with SuperFerry 14?

  43. the cargo part of Sulpicio’s business has not stopped. Only the passenger part of its business. I think Sulpicio should just pay the victims family first instead of making them wait and suffer even more. Sulpicio is so focused on getting back to business and yet its action contradicts what the majority wants or even the regulators.
    Poeple in the provinces do not care much if we have sea transpo or not. We are used to waiting and being bullshitted anyway. Our people will not die if Sulpicio will not be in business. I don’t think it will hurt the economy if Sulpicio passenger part of business remains to be put on hold or forever put on hold. If it will then someone must support that statement as to why and which area ( industry) of our economy will be affected. The provinces can persevere. they can sustain for a while. It will actually save them money and gas if travel is postponed. People will adjust.