Las Piñas City Mayor Warns Barangay Leaders About Failure To Clear Their Areas of Obstructions

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The many heads of the barangays in the meeting spearheaded by Las Piñas City Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar (facing them from the background). (photo credit: Shawnette Ramos)

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.

Overall these developments reflect the City Government of Las Piñas response to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte during his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) that public roads used for private ends should be reclaimed. Duterte also ordered DILG Secretary Año to suspend mayors or governors who refuse to comply.

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Barangay BF Homes’ Erla Cortesta Recognized as an Outstanding Nutrition Scholar in NCR

Barangay BF Homes’ Erla Cortesta Recognized as an Outstanding Nutrition Scholar in NCR

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Erla Cortesta of Barangay BF Homes (holding the award) was one of fifteen National Capital Region-based nutrition scholar recognized by the National Nutrition Authority as a City/Municipal Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholars. (photo contributed by Barangay BF Homes)

On the afternoon of July 26, Erla Cortesta of Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City brought home honor to her locality as she was recognized as a City/Municipal Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar for 2018 during the 2019 Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony – National Capital Region held at The Heritage Hotel in Pasay City.

Specifically, Cortesta was one of only fifteen such scholars to receive such a recognition and she is the lone awardee of Parañaque. Considering the multiple barangays there are in the NCR involved in the search, being among the fifteen scholars is a significant achievement on its own. Like her fellow scholars, Cortesta received a plaque of recognition as well as a cash prize.

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Standing beside awardee Erla Cortesta were Barangay BF Homes Nutrition Action Officer Zeny Pascual and Kagawad Cielo Lazatin. (photo contributed by Barangay BF Homes)

“It is a significant distinction for Barangay BF Homes as there were several contenders in NCR and only few were awarded,” Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Cielo Lazatin said. “They all went through a very intensive evaluation before getting declared as awardees.”

Present during the ceremony, apart from Kagawad Lazatin, Barangay BF Homes Nutrition Action Officer Zeny Pascual and Parañaque City’s First Lady Janet Olivarez.

The 2019 Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony – National Capital Region was an event organized by the National Nutrition Council.

 

 

 

Muntinlupa City Government Praised for Business Friendliness

Muntinlupa City Government Praised for Business Friendliness

During a consultation meeting and presentation of local medium and long-term development plans held at Vivere Hotel, Filinvest City, Alabang in Muntinlupa City, the members of the business community lauded the local initiatives of City Government of Muntinlupa.

IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines Executive Director for External Affairs and Investor Relations Nicki Agcaoili praised Muntinlupa LGU for facilitating a “business-friendly environment” in the city.

“Among other LGUs in the region, Muntinlupa City is the easiest to transact with,” Agcaoili said during the July 12 event.

Agcaoili also noted how they have achieved and exceeded targets after locating in the city.

Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi expressed his thanks to business executives who attended the consultation meeting and vowed to strengthen partnership with them. This was affirmed by City Councilor Raul Corro who expressed the City Council’s commitment to address the business sector’s needs through local legislation.

For their part, City Government officials presented the projects to be implemented over next three years. Private sector execs expressed their feedback in a focus group discussion.

The consultation meeting was facilitated by the Business Permits and Licensing Office and the Local Economic and Investments Promotions Office.

In 2017 and 2018, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry hailed Muntinlupa City as the Most Business-Friendly LGU in the country. This established the city as the standout city for business in South Metro Manila.

A pioneer in the EODB Act, the City of Muntinlupa is the first local government unit (LGU) to introduce the Single Window Transaction – Modified Business One-Stop Shop, a single-interface business-registration process in which a business permit registration application can be finished in up to 15 minutes only.

MSME development is also a priority in the city through the Tulong Negosyo program (formerly Dagdag Puhunan program) which offers zero-percent interest loan assistance from 2,000 to 150,000 pesos.

On top of financial assistance, the local government provides coaching and mentoring sessions to budding entrepreneurs which include business legal management, accounting for non-accountants, and financial management, among others.

The City Government organizes business forums to determine the business sector’s inputs and feedback on development agendas. This in turn helps the City Government address their needs.

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Meet Barangay BF Homes SK Chairperson Mariel Tumang

Meet Barangay BF Homes SK Chairperson Mariel Tumang

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Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan chairperson Mariel Tumang.

For much of the day on June 30, 2019, the Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay BF Homes (BFSK) led by its chairperson Mariel Angela Tumang visited different developing communities of Barangay BF Homes in Parañaque City and implemented their special project called Waste Wise for Rice.

The project emphasized the trading in of Eco Bricks for kilograms of rice grain. According to chairperson Tumang, local community residents each hand over to them the Eco Brick(s) (plastic bottle containing wrappings of snack products) and in return the SK gives out a kilogram of rice grain. Tumang and her kagawads (youth councilors) Alma Galindo, Roselyn Regis, Jerry Dalmero, Kelly Haboc, Irene Juanico, Anne Gabrielle Corre, Stephanie Sebullen worked hard that day.

According to the Facebook page of the BFSK, the SK collected 900 Eco Bricks and they released over 900 kilograms of rice grain. The SK emphasized that their June 30 project was environment-friendly and a good provider of food for the residents. Here in the Philippines, rice is staple food.

Before that special project happened, I got to interview BFSK chairperson Tumang (who is also the Vice President of the Parañaque SK Federation) and here is my exclusive feature of her for you all.

Who is Mariel Tumang?

Mariel Angela Tumang was born in the late 1990s. She recently graduated at the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA with a BS in Accountancy. Her entry into the Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay BF Homes came at a time when the SK got reformed. In short, she and her fellow councilors are pioneers for Barangay BF Homes under the new SK system.

To put things in perspective, the SK or youth council was a decades-old system in Philippine society that, from its 1975 beginning, developed a poor reputation. Critics called the SK a system that politicizes youths, a failure on implementing youth development programs, a breeding ground for corruption and the like. People who don’t believe in the SK stressed that youths are not ready for early public service and that they are better off focusing on their academics. Also it did not help under the original SK system that youth leaders who were not even of legal age (below 18) got to sign contracts between their council and other organizations.

In early 2016, Congress approved Republic Act Number 10742 which was called the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Law. It saw some notable changes like raising the age of the council to 18-24 years-old (versus the previous 15-17) and implementing an anti-political dynasty rule.

This brings me back to Tumang and her kagawads.

In the summer of 2018, a team of youth candidates under the umbrella of former Barangay BF Homes chairperson Florencia “Beng” Amurao was formed and Tumang was the candidate for BFSK chairperson. As it was the first SK election in some years, as well as the first-ever election under the reformed SK system, there was hesitation along the way for Tumang.

“Actually, I did not want to join the election because for me, politics is dirty,” Tumang said. “My friends inspired me especially Tita Beng (Amurao). My mother worked for her previously. Tita Beng said she wanted me to be her group’s candidate for SK chairperson and I said that I was still studying and was unsure about the idea of running in the election. After some more talk, I got inspired a lot and decided to run.”

When I asked her if she had thought about uplifting the status of youths of the many communities of Barangay BF Homes as part of her decision to run, she confirmed that it was indeed her intention all along. She also had insight.

“Before entering the SK, I was a student leader and during my days at Masville National High School I was the SSG president. I also received an award for leadership of students when I graduated high school. I was also a Girl Scout and along the way we got trained with leadership skills and values. A lot of my friends told me I have leadership skills,” she said.

In the reformed SK election for Barangay BF Homes, Tumang and her teammates under the Team Amurao banner ran against their counterparts from the group of then Kagawad Paolo Marquez. As the competition between the two teams was intense, the campaigning was, unsurprisingly, very challenging.

“It was really hard for me personally for I was not really an outgoing person. I spent my time mostly at school and at home. We were somewhat known in Masville but not that much in other communities of the barangay,” Tumang recalled. “At the same time, I took summer classes along the way which was a requirement at school. I had to skip some classes just to campaign. When I was able to attend to both (campaign and class), there were days we went house-to-house campaigning in the morning, then I go school in the after and attend campaign meetings in the evening.”

All the pain, the lack of sleep and hard efforts to win the voters’ trust ultimately paid off for Tumang as she defeated her election rival Aira Besana (Team Marquez) for the BFSK chairperson post gathering a total 2,672 votes. The seven SK kagawad posts were split between Team Amurao and Team Marquez candidates.

“I was so glad and I cried when I learned that I won the SK chairperson position. My friends and family really supported me during the COMELEC counting of the votes. It was a nerve-wrecking experience and many of us, including my teammates, stayed at the Phase 1 gym for a very long time without any sleep,” she recalled.

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Tumang (middle) with her BFSK kagawads and a few others on June 30, 2019. (source – Sangguniang Kabataan ng Barangay Bf Homes Facebook page)

Since taking office as chairperson of the Barangay BF Homes youth council on June 30, 2018, she and her councilors organized several projects and activities on developing youths of the local communities despite the fact that they lacked funds. Along the way, she and her councilors participated in some seminars and out-of-town activities related to youth development and leadership development. Of course, leading the BFSK made life more challenging for her since she was still finishing her studies.

“It’s really difficult,” Tumang remarked on balancing her personal life with academics and SK duty. “There were times I really cried because I could not manage my time. When we started, we lacked direction on what to do so I asked my mother for guidance since she served as a staffer of the barangay before.”

Tumang added that being a student and an elected youth leader forced her to make hard decisions when barangay matters conflicted with her academics. While missing out on class was costly, being absent from a youth council meeting or session would mean getting left behind on the latest developments.

On the aspect of legislation, Tumang serves as the presiding officer of the youth council. She coordinates with the SK secretary over the agenda for each session which is held only once a month. Already some resolutions have been approved by the BFSK most notably their budget which is in the millions of pesos.

As the reformed SK was so new, Tumang and her kagawads started without a real budget at all and had to depend on the barangay’s youth development fund. Along the way, they had to make hard adjustments by learning the processes, learning how to do proper reports, practice of ethics, and more.

As of this year, the BFSK is inching closer to completing the system for the receiving and releasing of funds that are needed to realize their youth development projects. Tumang and her team had visited the banks, coordinated with the barangay and secure several requirements. They were delayed somewhat because of an election ban related to the May 2019 national and local elections.

While there were lots of hassles and challenges, Tumang still is focused on serving the youths of Barangay BF Homes and with what the BFSK has achieved so far. She and her kagawads are striving to do much more to make progressive and positive impact on developing the local youths.

“The feeling is so pleasant whenever I see someone smile as a result of the projects we at the SK have accomplished,” she said with a smile.

Message to the Readers

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Mariel Tumang handing over rice grain to a donor during the Waste Wise for Rice activity on June 30. (source – Sangguniang Kabataan ng Barangay Bf Homes Facebook page)

“I wish to share to you all that the Sangguniang Kabataan is really a good thing because we can talk to youths who are naturally hesitant to communicate with older people or share their concerns. Youths are always struggling with some sort of personal or social problems of their own as they grow up. From peer pressure, to insecurity, mental problems and suicidal thoughts, the youth are struggling and they need help. We are willing to help them. Here in BF, we are very willing to help implement the very promising programs from Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez designed for the youth. Problematic youths are very welcome to visit barangay hall for assistance and we are very willing to provide it. The BFSK is caring and we aim to develop local youths socially, academically and morally. With seminars, outreach and enlightening group discussions already done, the reformed SK system is truly about nurturing youths and it is no longer limited to organizing sports events.”


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

 

BF NorthWest 2019 Election – Election Committee (EleCom) Members Search is Ongoing!

BF NorthWest, which is one of the most notable and largest enclaves of BF Homes subdivision in Parañaque City, Philippines, will be having its election for members of their Board of Directors (BOD) this November (last week of November, specifically).

HOWEVER, in order for the election to proceed, the BF NorthWest Homeowners Association, Inc. called out to its members (homeowners) who wish to be members of the Election Committee (EleCom) which is essential.

The Criteria for village members to be an EleCom member is as follows:

* Homeowner in good standing (dues are paid, no legal impediments)
* over 18 years old
* Is not running/interested in being a District officer.

The EleCom is an independent body and its members cannot be a current nor a prospective District officer. A current board or other committee member cannot be involved in the EleCom process.

Among the tasks for EleCom members include reviewing past election processes, make recommendations (if required), discuss eligibility to be voted, be responsible for balot counting and a few other tasks.

The BF NorthWest HOA is looking for members who will ensure that the process of voting is not compromised by any form of fraud, and that it will be peaceful, organized and transparent.

How many EleCom members required? The answer: five.

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The clubhouse and office of the BF NorthWest Homeowners Association, Inc. along Djakarta street.

Should the BF NorthWest HOA get many expressions of interest, the current board will make a selection according to merit. The board envisage that an initial meeting of the EleCom would start on August 2019 with meetings that will be held monthly or bi-monthly. As the EleCom is voluntary, there is no remuneration.

Interested parties among legitimate members of the BF NorthWest HOA are encouraged to proceed to the office along Djakarta street and look for village administrator Mr. Nubla. Also calls are accepted at landline 826-4547.

Those who are interested are required to visit the said office and indicate name and address.

 

Tahanan Homeowners Association (THA) Announces Adjustments Regarding The Use of Community Swimming Pool

Through the June 29, 2019 edition of their official bulletin – Tahanan Flash – the Tahanan Homeowners Association (THA) announced some adjustments related to the use of the community swimming pool which is just outside their office at the village clubhouse in Tahanan Village, Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City.

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The Tahanan Village community swimming pool.

The THA stated that their Board of Directors (now headed by their president Aurora Beatriz L. Sarmiento) decided to implement key changes such as the rate of P250 per guest/per usage for guests (described as friends and relatives who are not residents of the village) when it comes to using the pool. For the residents, the rate it still set at P60 per resident/per usage.

With regards to regulating the use of the pool, the THA will exert its best effort to limit the number of swimmers to twenty (20) people in any given point in time.

Groups composed of ten (10) people must advise the THA office of the use of the pool two days before the scheduled use. This is meant to regulate crowding.

In ending their statement, the THA said: There will also be days we need to close down the pool due to water shortage. We also ask those who have swimming pools to do the same thing during times of water crisis. Please monitor our village boards and Facebook account for announcements.

To contact the THA, call 842-5955 or visit their Facebook page.

If you wish to explore more regarding Tahanan Village, try visiting the Tahanan Village Facebook group.

 

Visit the BF NorthWest Community Fun Fair (April 27 and 28, 2019)

This morning, I visited BF NorthWest which is one of the most notable villages inside BF Homes subdivision in Parañaque City to take a close look at the Community Fun Fair which was held at the open-air basketball court just steps away from the clubhouse of the BF NorthWest Homeowners Association, Inc.

What I saw there was interesting.

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Fresh vegetables being sold to customers.

There were several tents set up which were occupied by varied sellers who brought in their stuff. A wide variety of goods, both used and new, were offered to buyers like toys, clothing, slippers, food, beverages, comic books, text books, household items, original DVD movies, fresh vegetables and more.

According to village governor Lorea Miren (who was in-charge of the 2-day event), the Community Fun Fair was meant to help the village raise funds needed for the maintenance and improvement of the park.

“Instead of charging for the rent of the tents or the space, we collect ten percent of their proceeds which will go to the improvement of the park,” Miren said during my interview with her. Companies that sell services meanwhile were given a fixed rate.

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Geek stuff like comic books, original movies on DVD, action figures and toys for sale.

“What’s happening organically is there are people who are asking if they could bring their stuff to sell so I had to check if there are any spaces left,” Miren added.

As my interview with the village governor went on, I noticed more than people arriving into the fair looking for things to buy, meeting neighbors and the like. At such an early stage, the Community Fun Fair was already fulfilling another key objective – bringing community members together and opening opportunities for socializing.

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Some guests enjoying the shade.

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The BF NorthWest Community Fun Fair will last another day tomorrow (April 28) from 9AM to 6PM. Both villagers and non-residents (visitors from outside BF NorthWest) are welcome to visit the whole day event to have a good time and contribute to the community through purchasing.

BF NorthWest can be accessed along El Grande Avenue.