Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi receives a plaque of recognition from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) chairman George Barcelon during the Final Judging of the business group’s Most Business-Friendly LGU Awards. (contributed by Muntinlupa City PIO)
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi and his team attended the final judging. They presented the innovations made on ease of doing business including streamlining business processes through the establishment of the Single-Window Transaction and assistance to MSME (micro-small-medium enterprises) through a zero-percent interest loan assistance, among others.
Last year, Muntinlupa was hailed (for the 2nd straight year) the Most Business Friendly LGU award during the 44th Philippine Business Conference. Back then, Muntinlupa bested other finalists in four pillars which include: Fast-tracking Sustainable Local Economic Development, Improvement of Ease of Doing Business (EODB), Investment Promotion Initiatives, and Initiatives to Enhance Industry/ Sectoral Competitiveness.
Now that Muntinlupa made the finals again, the suspense now begins for which city will be hailed as this year’s Most Business-Friendly LGU. The 45th Philippine Business Conference & Expo will take place on October 16 and 17 at the Manila Hotel.
Are you a senior citizen whose benefit under the national law was denied by a local business? Are you aware of the benefits for senior citizens under Republic Act Number 9994 (Full title:An Act Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Senior Citizens, further amending Republic Act No. 7432, As Amended, Otherwise Known As “an Act To Maximize The Contribution Of Senior Citizens To Nation Building, Grant Benefits And Special Privileges And For Other Purposes. Short title:Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010) whenever you purchase food and/or beverage in a restaurant?
Why did I ask you these questions and mentioned RA 9994? It’s quite simple – a senior citizen in BF Homes, Parañaque City filed a formal complaint against a certain food joint which refused to grant him his exemption from the 12% Value-Added Tax (VAT) when he dined at the said joint.
Here is the story with details from documents I acquired.
On June 10, 2019, Jose Luis Matti and his daughter dined at a restaurant (clue: a burger joint whose business name will be revealed in due time) along Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City. He ordered food and drinks and, under law, the discounts are limited only to food and drinks he ordered for his consumption as he is a senior citizen
The problem was that, according to Matti, the restaurant applied the 20% discount for senior citizens and yet denied him his mandated benefit of exemption from the VAT. In his June 17, 2019 letter addressed to restaurant’s owner, Matti said that the restaurant personnel he encountered on June 10 claimed they were instructed (by the owner) not to give him the 12% VAT exemption. Photocopies of the receipts were included on the said letter.
As a result, Matti filed a formal complaint against the restaurant at the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs of Parañaque City (OSCA-Parañaque) urging officer-in-charge Dante Pacheco to take action against the food joint (as per his July 12, 2019 letter to Pacheco received by the said office).
A hearing between Matti and the food joint’s owner will happen very soon at OSCA’s office at Parañaque City Hall.
I visited the restaurant along Aguirre Avenue inside BF Homes to try to meet the owner and get feedback directly from him but the personnel told me over the counter that their boss was out of town.
Understanding the legal aspect
It is stated under RA 9994 (Rule IV, Article 7) that senior citizens shall be entitled to the grant of twenty percent (20%) discount and to an exemption from the value-added tax (VAT), IF APPLICABLE, on the sale of the goods and services covered by Section 1 to 6 of this Article, from all establishments for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of senior citizens.
Section 3 (Rule IV, Article 7) includes restaurants, hotels, recreational centers, places of leisures and funeral services with regards to the above mentioned 20% discount and VAT exemption.
Item b (under Section 3, Rule IV, Article 7) focuses on restaurants. It states that the discount shall be for the purchase of food, drinks, dessert, and other consumable items served by the establishments offered for the consumption of the general public.
Item c states for Dine-in services under paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 3, and Section 4, paragraph 2 of Article 7,the privilege must be personally availed of by the senior citizen as defined under these Rules, and no proxies or authorization in favor of another person who is not a senior citizen will be honored.
Item e states Food, drinks and other consumable items provided in Section 3 (a) and (b), and Section 4, paragraph 2 of Article 7 purchased by the senior citizen shall be processed separately as an independent transaction from his/her non-eligible companions to ensure that it is his/her exclusive consumption and to enable computation of the 20% discount and the exemption from the Value Added Tax (VAT), which only the senior citizen is entitled to.
However, if the group of diners is composed entirely of senior citizens, all of whom present valid senior citizens IDs, each shall be entitled to a 20% discount and exemption from Value Added Tax.
This is an ongoing community development and if any breakthroughs happen, an update will be posted.
The hearing between Mr. Matti and the restaurant at the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs of Parañaque City (OSCA-Parañaque) at City Hall scheduled for August 20, 2019 did not push through due to the absence of the restaurant owner.
As such, the hearing will have to be rescheduled.
The restaurant accused in this conflict is Big Brat Burger.
Recently the City of Las Piñas made waves in the national news. This was because Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar issued a warning to the leaders of twenty barangays of extreme consequence if they fail to clear the respective areas of obstructions and structures that are illegal.
During a meeting held on August 1, the mayor met with the barangay chairpersons from the city’s two districts and laid down the City Government’s plan action to rid all roads and sidewalks of illegal vendors, illegally parked vehicles and overlapping structures, including those unfinished excavations by various service utilities.
“You will be accountable to me if you fail to implement the rules that endanger the lives of our fellow Las Piñero,” Mayor Aguilar told the barangay leaders.
Along with the other Metro Manila city mayors, Mayor Aguilar committed to the 60-day period given by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año to clear the metro roads of obstructions.
But prior to the DILG directive, the mayor already convened Task Force Kaayusan last month which immediately conducted clearing operations in the city to address concerns on traffic and road hazards. The task force is composed of the Estate Management and Development Office (EMDO), City Engineering Office, the local Philippine National Police, the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO), and spearheaded by the Mayor’s Office.
“These obstructions must be permanently rid from our main road, which is the Alabang-Zapote Road, as well as the inner roads must likewise be cleared of any obstacles. Let us give back the sidewalks to the pedestrians and the roads to motorists,” the mayor said.
She also requested the City Council, through Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery (the mayor’s daughter), to review the existing ordinances on obstruction and public order and safety.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ Members Networking Night
Let me share to you all that I had a grand time meeting with varied business people and professionals. On the evening of July 29 at Manila Elks Club in Makati City, I attended the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Members Networking Night organized by the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. The result was a lot of enlightenment on my part and satisfaction now that I have brand new connections with many professionals.
I also had a grand experience learning about the strengthening ties between the Philippines and Israel. Since a miracle happened to me last year, I moved forward personally, socially and professionally. Along the way, I gained tremendous interest on Israel which I hope to visit someday.
As a nation, Israel is highly significant. It is one of the most innovative nations in the whole world as confirmed by a recent study. In addition to establishing ties with other professionals, my passion for Israel was a key factor behind my participation in the Networking Night event.
During the event, there was a program with a nice presentation to the members and the guests. Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines President Sagiv Massad warmly welcomed us with his remarks followed by a short speech delivered by Ms. Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov who is the Deputy Chief of Mission from the Embassy of Israel.
The Deputy Chief of Mission confirmed that bilateral ties between the Philippines and Israel are indeed getting stronger.
“The job that Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines has been doing is very much appreciated by the embassy. It is a great contribution to our bilateral relations,” said Deputy Chief of Mission Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov. “I am very pleased to mention that we have very positive developments in the relations between Israel and the Philippines recently.”
While emphasizing the positive developments, she mentioned President Rodrigo Duterte’s official visit to Israel in 2018 which is a milestone as it marked the first time a Philippine President visited the country. Duterte had a big delegation with him to Israel and a lot of agreements were signed. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Duterte.
The Deputy Chief of Mission mentioned that one of the signed agreements was related to the employment of caregivers and that fees on them would be reduced. Already there are 35,000 Filipino caregivers working in Israel who contributed a lot to the local society. The other agreement mentioned was about the employment of Filipino workers in the tourism industry of Israel. As a nation, Israel has a population of nine million and attracts four million tourists yearly. The Philippines was the first nation approached by Israel for its tourism needs.
After the update about Philippines-Israel relations, networking followed and it was during this time I met with varied professionals and business executives. We introduced ourselves, exchanged business cards and talked business. Along the way, I learned a lot from the professionals I met whose expertise include marketing, logistics, tax law, travel, sales, the airline industry, business solution development, events organizing, fruit processing, career development, real estate, etc.
As the event went on, some prizes were raffled off to very lucky winners (including myself).
By the end of the Networking Night, I went home very enlightened, delighted and satisfied. There is nothing like making a whole lot of connections with varied professionals in just a few hours’ time. In the world of business, having connections is essential and they can add a lot to your business performance as well as its development.
Lastly, I should say that during my previous career as a community newspaper reporter, I attended and reported about the activities of the Parañaque City chapter of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI). Privately I also attended some conferences that attracted varied industry professionals. The Chamber’s Networking Night is the most significant corporate event I attended yet. Now that I’m working in industry and attended this memorable July 29 event, I certainly will watch out for the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ next event and eventually learn more about Israel and its ties with the Philippines.
What is the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines?
You must be wondering – what exactly is the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and how significant are they? Let me explain.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines was established with a purpose to foster, enable, facilitate and ensure the success of its members’ businesses while promoting business-to-business networking between Israel and the Philippines. The Chamber aims to collaborate with Philippine government officials, agencies and bureaus, as well as business and community leaders in dealing with important and critical issues affecting business and industries in both countries, while contributing to their civic, social and economic development.
With regards to the benefits of being a member of the Chamber, the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines represents and further the interests of each member. Through General Membership meetings, Business Forums and other events, Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines members receive assistance in promoting their companies and individual interests, keeping them abreast and ahead of business trends both in the country and in Israel.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines has a well established network with varied foreign and local chambers. They have ties with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI), other industry group-focused trade and business organizations as well. The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines constantly strives to be the premiere comprehensive resource and vehicle for the achievement of a strong and meaningful bilateral trade relationship between Israel and the Philippines that would be mutually beneficial to both countries.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines is currently open for local businesses who wish to join them as a member.
If you wish to learn more about the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, visit their website at ICCP.ph and follow their official Facebook page.
Yet another coffee shop of Starbucks opened in the Alabang area in Muntinlupa City very recently. Specifically, this is about the one that opened at the ground floor of One Griffinstone located along Commerce Avenue corner Spectrum Midway in Filinvest City.
Very recently, out of curiosity, I visited to take a close look.
Like the other new Starbucks coffee shops I visited recently, the One Griffinstone branch has a nice interior and more notably, it’s got views of the immediate surroundings.
When it comes to seating capacity, I counted fifty-one seats, including the stools. For the use of the common rest room, a code is required to be able to use it. The code is printed on the receipt of the Starbucks drink/food customers buy. If you need to use the toilet during your time at Starbucks One Griffinstone, do not throw away the receipt fast.
After receiving my drink, I sat down facing one side of the place looking at the Festival Mall in the distance. Then I realizing something…Commerce Avenue literally connects with four different Starbucks branches in Alabang.
Along Commerce Avenue (note: distances between the coffeeshops and the said road) are the Alabang Town Center branch, the One Griffinstone branch and Starbucks Reserve (part of Westgate) branch.
In a way, Commerce Avenue leads to the old Starbucks branch at Festival Mall. Coming from the direction of Ayala Alabang, one can drive to the said branch by reaching the end of the road entering the area of mall, turn right on a short road going to the open-air parking area (where the old Starbucks and Robinsons department store are).
Are these enough Starbucks branches in the Alabang area as a whole? That’s hard to figure out at this point in time but what is clear is that Alabang is a hot spot for the world’s largest coffee chain. Previously I visited another new Alabang branch of the coffee chain at Madison Galeries.
Check out and visit the Starbucks One Griffinstone branch if you have time.
A new school will soon rise in the Province of Cavite in 2020. This is the expected result of an agreement recently signed by Antel Land and Southville International School and Colleges (SISC) to establish what is called as the first globally accredited international school in General Trias, Cavite.
The said project is the eight international school to become part of the Southville Global Education Network (SGEN) and it will be located specifically in Antel Grand Village.
“We’re very happy to have Southville bring their expertise in providing world class education to Antel Grand Village. It a welcome addition to our exclusive and mixed use development in Cavite. It will benefit not only our growing residents but the surrounding communities as well. Southville is a top choice as it matches our discerning and exclusive demographic and is timely to support the rapid development of the Kawit-Gen Trias-Tanza growth corridor of Cavite,” Antel Land Vice President Kyle Lao declared.
Antel Grand Village is a high-end community located only 30 minutes away from Mall of Asia via the Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX). The village offers the comforts of a relaxed environment near the city and ensures that children receive an education that matches any institution in the world. AGV is described to be the first and only self-contained island community, south of Metro Manila, with over 170 hectares of carefully master planned residential villages, social and commercial districts, and a 1.7 hectare clubhouse, all in the midst of verdant scenery and riverside vistas.
Antel Grand Village could be the community that families, who are searching for a more relaxed environment away from Metro Manila’s traffic, might want to visit for new homes.
About Southville International School and Colleges (SISC)
Southville International School and Colleges is an internationally awarded education institution consistently producing students who are considered some of the best both in the Philippines and overseas. Southville has been awarded the Investors in People UK Gold award, ISO 9001:2015 certification, International Baccalaureate accreditation, Western Association of Schools and Colleges(WASC) accreditation, School of the future by DepEd, and many more. Just in 2019, Southville students have been accepted into the Top-10 Ranked Universities in the world such as Imperial College London, received scholarship offers from universities in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom and a Southville alumni Sean Borja was ranked the #1 new lawyer in the 2018 Philippine Bar Exam. Southville is also the school of choice of several well-known personalities such as actresses Jodi Sta. Maria, Heaven Peralejo, Winwyn Marquez, and Liza Soberano. Leaders from the business sector, government, and the expat community trust Southville with one of the most important decisions in their lives – the education of their children.
About Antel Group of Companies
Since 1986, Antel Group of Companies has been a pioneer in the Real Estate industry, with over 500 hectares of prime property being developed and landbanked. Being both land owner and developer, the company has grown a diverse portfolio ranging from horizontal and commercial developments, mid and high-rise residential buildings, corporate towers, malls and township communities. With over 30 years of experience and expertise, Antel Land guarantees the perfect place for Southville to expand its legacy as an academic institution adhering to the utmost global perspective of quality education.
The Alabang Hills Village Association (AHVA) in Alabang Hills Village, Barangay Cupang, Muntinlupa City announced that more village stickers for specific people will be released very soon.
Firstly, the 2019 edition of the vehicular stickers for Alabang Hills residents will be released on August 5, 2019. Each sticker will cost as follows (according to the AHVA’s Secretary’s Certificate dated July 6, 2017):
First four cars – P100 per vehicle
Next three cars – P300 per vehicle
Next three cars – P600 per vehicle
11 or more cars – P1,200 per vehicle
For the commercial vehicles, the stickers will be released on August 12, 2019. The stickers will cost P1,500 per vehicle (four wheels) and P2,250 per vehicle (six wheels).
Last but not least, stickers for motorcycles and bicycles will be released on August 12, 2019. The rates for resident motorcycles and bicycles are P100 each, while non-resident motorcycles and bicycles will cost P225 per sticker.
The same AHVA Secretary’s Certificate shows that the replacement sticker rates are at P50 for residents and P100 for non-residents.
AHVA clubhouse update
Meanwhile, the AHVA announced on July 18 that the repair of the village clubhouse locate along Don Jesus Boulevard will be completed next month although no specific date was mentioned. The association announced that its Board of Directors made a decision to allot spaces to service providers that should benefit the residents.
The association officially invited interested parties for the following types of service (with space):
Coffee shop (90 square meters)
Beauty Salon and Barber Shop (70 square meters)
Convenience store (33 square meters)
“The renovated AHV Clubhouse promises an enticing site to relax, socialize and hangout apart from providing security, clinical health and business services,” AHVA president Benjamin Y. Munasque, Jr. wrote.
For the service providers, letters of intent (LOI) with a brief business description are to be submitted to AHVA Village Manager Lanie Rosas BEFORE 5PM of July 31.
For clarifications and inquiries, it is best for you to call the association at phone numbers 850-8254, 850-9631 and fax number 850-7685. They can be reached by email at email@example.com