Archive | Government

It’s 2017 and The General Security Just Started Accepting Debit/Credit Cards

Although the General Security is probably the only governmental institution that you feel is actually efficient with its smooth operations, but no one can deny that fee payment there can really be irritating sometimes.

You probably have been through it too, each time I renewed my passport I had to bring that exact renewal fees in Lebanese Lira in addition to -god knows why- a photocopy of the bills! And yes, carrying dollars instead is guaranteed to delay your application a bit until you go exchange the money… but it seems like those days are long gone.

I was on my way to work this morning when I noticed several billboards announcing that the General Security has just started accepting payment cards to settle application fees. I know it may sound silly to some but it’s definitely a life saver for others, especially those who do not have the luxury to spend an extended time to submit a simple application form.

And now that this governmental institution seems to have caught up with “modern” payment methods, let’s hope for others such as municipalities or Electricité du Liban (HA HA HA!) to follow suit and hopefully even offer online payments. It’s 2017 for god’s sake!!

P.S: I couldn’t find any online article about this new service except for this post on Blom Bank’s FB page announcing their partnership with the General Security to make it happen.

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The Problem With The New Red Light Cameras in Beirut

The traffic management center in Lebanon recently installed some red light cameras around Beirut in order to enforce traffic laws by automatically photographing people who run red lights or those who stop their cars on red AFTER the white stop bar. In their first tests, they unsurprisingly were able to record a violation every 8 seconds!

However, while the installation of these cameras is just logical in order to ensure the new traffic law is fully applied, you cant but feel that it is an ill-timed step… I mean let’s be honest, the majority of those who apply for a driving license show up on their test day to sign some papers and end up getting their license no matter how poor their knowledge about traffic laws is, and I really doubt most drivers are aware that you’re not supposed to stop the cars after the white bar on a red light. In fact, if you abide by this rule don’t be surprised to see people cutting you off and stopping in front of you…

The ultimate purpose for applying traffic rules is to reduce road accidents and avoid traffic jams. So it it were up to me, I would have allocated this project money to educate the masses and recruit additional police officers to ensure that the basic laws are applied. Till now, wherever you go in Beirut you see taxi cars and minibuses picking up passengers wherever they please on the road. Moreover, double parking is like norm everywhere… solving these two problems alone should guarantee making the traffic smoother all over the city. Let alone other problems caused by asshole motorbikers and pedestrians who insist on crossing the road no matter what color is the traffic light.

But then again, someone now thinks it is time to erect these cameras regardless of any other priorities, so brace yourselves, tickets are coming!

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Drugs Price List in Lebanon Now Available Online

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The Ministry of Public Health released their new website and mobile app a few days ago, and among the new services they now offer is a listing of the available drugs in Lebanon along with their official prices so you can compare them with the prices set by your local pharmacy and know if you’re being overcharged, in addition to the ability to compare a certain drug to its available alternatives having the same formula.

This is definitely a good step forward by the ministry to identify the pharmacies that do not abide by the set prices, and ensure that consumers are getting their medicine at a fair price.

The drugs price list is available both on the ministry’s website and the mobile app for iOS and Android.

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