COVID-19 Crisis: Social Amelioration Program (SAP) deadline this Sunday

COVID-19 Crisis: Social Amelioration Program (SAP) deadline this Sunday

In your own city, were you able to check if the officials of your city government and barangay have been working extra hard on organizing the release of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) to qualified residents in your community? They should be!

The heart of the matter right here is that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) already gave local government units extra time to disburse the SAP funds and the deadline is all set for this Sunday, the 10th of May.

Here’s an excerpt from the DILG’s official release.

Excerpt: DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that he recognizes the challenges encountered by LGUs on the ground especially those with high density population like Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, Bulacan, and Cebu and Davao City, hence the decision to extend the deadline for the payout anew.

“We have received reports from our field offices na kahit na 24/7 ang pamimigay ng ayuda ay mahihirapan talagang mameet ng LGUs ang May 7 deadline lalo na ‘yung mga nasa Metro Manila. We are therefore giving them until May 10 para makompleto lahat ‘yan,” he said.

He said that the League of Cities of the Philippines and the League of Municipalities of the Philippines together with the Metro Manila Development Authority requested for an additional three (3) days to complete the SAP distribution.

The DILG Chief said that those LGUs who will not be able to meet the new deadline on May 10 will definitely receive show cause orders from the Department. “This is the last extension that we will grant to the LGUs. Our people cannot wait any longer,” he said.

The show cause order for failure to meet deadlines should be enough to compel city government officials to really work. As far as Metro Manila is concerned, the SAP distribution was estimated at 36% according to a Manila Bulletin report on May 5. 36% accounts to over 565,000 low-income families in Metro Manila who were successful in receiving cash subsidies under the SAP.

In order to qualify to receive the cash subsidy, applicants must meet requirements including filling up official application forms. However, such efforts can be derailed by misinformation, miscommunication, rumor mongering, finger pointing, news media corruption and fake news.

Check out the situation in Parañaque City below.

And then something bad happened in the same city, related to SAP.

Whatever happens, be aware of your surroundings. Do not let your guard down. Do not be fooled by scammers and do not let corrupt officials bring you down. Do not let unprofessional and irresponsible local community print media journalists/publishers manipulate you.

Right now, literally speaking, the ball is in the court of the LGU and the barangays to beat the May 10 deadline for releasing the SAP funds to those who qualify for it.


For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

 

 

Mayor Fresnedi envisions Muntinlupa to be a “smart city,” leads its 25th anniversary

Mayor Fresnedi envisions Muntinlupa to be a “smart city,” leads its 25th anniversary

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Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi with local officials in the celebration of the town’s silver anniversary last March 2. In his message, Fresnedi accounted Muntinlupa’s progress to its residents which he claimed as the city’s greatest resource. The local exec also highlighted the City Government’s sustainability initiatives in developing Muntinlupa as a “smart city” with focus on programs for education. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

This past Sunday (March 1, 2020) was the 25th anniversary of Muntinlupa as a City highlighting the historical date of March 1, 1995 which was the day when then Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos signed into law the key legislation (Republic Act Number 7926) that converted Muntinlupa from a municipality into a city.

On the morning of March 2 at the City Hall grounds, the City Government commemorated the silver anniversary. While considered as one of the youngest cities in the Philippines, Muntinlupa has become a front runner in its class in terms of competitiveness and quality of life for its residents.

The City Government organized a simple program for the city’s 25th founding anniversary and the celebration kicked off with a Thanksgiving Mass followed by a flag raising ceremony. Those who attended the program were Congressman Ruffy Biazon, Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, Vice-mayor Temy Simundac, City Councilors, City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela, barangay officials, and partners from the private sector and national government agencies.

In his message, Mayor Fresnedi accounted Muntinlupa’s progress to its residents which he claimed as the city’s greatest resource. He also highlighted sustainability efforts of the City Government in developing Muntinlupa as a “smart city” with focus on programs for education.

“As we look forward to the coming years, we are certain that the direction of Muntinlupa is only geared towards development and becoming a smart city of the future. For this reason that I commit to prepare every Muntinlupeño, focusing on their education, and to construct necessary infrastructure to enable residents face new challenges and adapt to emerging trends,” Fresnedi said.

The mayor highlighted the City Government’s initiative on expanding scholarship program from elementary to graduate school. He noted the recent allowance hike, including the increase of cash gifts awarded to board topnotchers and latin honor graduates. Muntinlupa City holds the highest number of scholarship program beneficiaries in the country with over 71,000 scholars.

Further, Fresnedi highlighted the construction of four school building, Aquatic Center, Track and Field Oval, groundbreaking of engineering college Colegio de Muntinlupa’s Building 2, and among others.

It is remembered that on March 1, 1995, Muntinlupa was converted from a municipality to a highly urbanized city and became the 65th city of the Philippines by virtue of Republic Act 7926. Today, it has transformed as one of the leading investment hubs in the country with nine equally progressive barangays and a population of 504,509.

The city has been recognized as a model city in the country bench-marked by LGUs in the country and garnered several awards from various governing bodies.

Some of the citations include the Seal of Good Governance from DILG, Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance from Regional Committee for Welfare of Children, Red Orchid Award, Jose Rizal Award for the fourth consecutive year, Gawad Bayanihan Award, Rank 1 (NCR) for Local Revenue Collection from Economic Enterprises, Rank 3 (NCR) for Manila Bay Clean-up Rehabilitation and Preservation Program, citation from National Anti-Drug Abuse Council (ADAC), Gawad Pilak from the Landbank of the Philippines, Most Business-Friendly City Award in 2018, Green Banner Award and Outstanding LGU in Nutrition Program Management in 2018, MERALCO Luminaries Award in 2018, Government Efficiency and Resilience Award (3rd Place) from National Competitiveness Council in 2017 and 2018, respectively; and Union Internationale des Transports Publics Awards in 2017, among others.


This is an official Press Release issued by the City Government of Muntinlupa.

 

 

Parañaque City Council Approves Proposal Granting Monthly Financial Assistance to all Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Members, Secretaries and Treasurers on Third Reading

On February 6, Parañaque City Councilor Wahoo Sotto announced that the legislative body (presided by Vice Mayor Rico Golez) passed on third and final reading Draft Ordinance Number 3 (Series of 2019) which is fully referred to as “An ordinance granting monthly financial assistance to all Sangguniang Kabataan members, Sangguniang Kabataan secretaries and Sangguniang Kabataan treasurers in the City of Parañaque and providing funds therefor.”

To put things in perspective, the approved piece of legislation, once signed by the mayor of the city, will lead to the City Government’s release of funds for the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK or Youth Council in English) members (from the chairperson to the youth councilors), their respective secretaries and treasurers in the form of allowances.

“We recognize the efforts and contributions of each Sangguniang Kabataan Member in bringing public service among youth,” Councilor Sotto expressed. “It was an honor for me to be part of this.”

While it is a fact that the respective SK units of barangays in Parañaque (specifically those who met the requirements of the banks and the Department of Interior and Local Government) now have access to earmarked funds needed to for their projects and activities, their officials and officers worked without any financial assistance, at least from the City Government. Under the reformed SK system, SK units are supposed to be independent from their respective barangay units.

We will find out soon enough from the City Government when will Draft Ordinance Number 3 be signed by the mayor.

Reaction from Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK)

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The hall of Barangay BF Homes.

Upon seeing Councilor Sotto’s announcement, I reached out to Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan chairwoman Mariel Tumang for a reaction.

“I’m happy because all of us SK Chairpersons had wished to have an allowance provided so that we can cover the costs of local transportation heading towards our events,” chairwoman Tumang reacted.

As of this writing, Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez has yet to reply to my inquiry of the same issue.


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

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

Muntinlupa City Signs Agreement with USAID and URC for Local Drug Rehabilitation Program

Muntinlupa City Signs Agreement with USAID and URC for Local Drug Rehabilitation Program

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The City Government of Muntinlupa inks partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for the implementation of USAID RenewHealth project, a community-based drug rehabilitation program. Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (3rd from left) signed a memorandum of agreement with USAID RenewHealth Project chief of Party Dr. Gina Hechanova (2nd from left), DCOP Dr. Ivanhoe Escartin (left), and Muntinlupa Drug Abuse and Prevention Control Office last February 3 at Muntinlupa City Hall to officially begin the program for persons who use drugs (PWUDs). USAID RenewHealth Project seeks to address drug dependency problem by expanding access to evidence-based and culturally-appropriate community-based drug treatment and recovery (CBDR) services. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

The City Government of Muntinlupa sealed its partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through the University Research Company (URC) for the implementation of USAID RenewHealth project that aims to strengthen the city’s community-based drug rehabilitation program.

Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi signed the memorandum of agreement with USAID RenewHealth Project chief of Party Dr. Gina Hechanova and DCOP Dr. Ivanhoe Escartin on Monday at Muntinlupa City Hall on February 3 to officially begin the program for persons who use drugs (PWUDs).

Fresnedi extended his gratitude to USAID for selecting the City of Muntinlupa as one of the Pilot Areas in NCR for the drug rehabilitation project. The local exec said the USAID’s assistance will significantly contribute to the success of the City Government’s drug abuse prevention initiatives.

USAID RenewHealth Project seeks to address drug dependency problem by expanding access to evidence-based and culturally-appropriate community-based drug treatment and recovery (CBDR) services.

For its part, USAID shall provide technical assistance to the City Government personnel in ensuring local CBDR strategies are aligned to service standards provided by the Dangerous Drug Board and other regulations prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH)  and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Barangay workers who serve as coach community facilitators will also be given training for screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment services, including CBDR, and CBDR governance.

USAID RenewHealth project supports the Philippine Anti-illegal Drugs Strategy that calls for a comprehensive and balanced approach to drug supply and demand reduction. It also builds on the Philippine Mental Health law that recognized substance dependence as a mental health issue.

The City Government of Muntinlupa continues to collaborate with various organization to strengthen the local recovery program for drug surrenderees under the Mamamayan at Pamilya Laban sa Droga (MAPALAD), the local community-based response strategy against drug abuse.

Interested parties are free to visit Muntinlupa Drug Abuse and Prevention Control Office located Muntinlupa City Hall, G/F Main Building, Putatan or contact them at telephone no. 8403-6689 / 8862-2525 loc. 212.

+++

Official Press Release issued by the City Government of Muntinlupa – Public Information Office.

 

 

2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections postponed!

2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections postponed!

Next Barangay and SK polls to happen on December 5, 2022

Did your local community print media news publication neglect to inform you of the hot news about the next Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections?

Here are the news: the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections originally scheduled for 2020 has officially been postponed and rescheduled the new date of December 5, 2022!

According to the release of Philippine News Agency (PNA), Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act Number 11462 (titled “Postponement of the 2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections Act”) which effectively postponed the polls originally set for May 2020. The act was signed in ceremony at Malacanang Palace on the afternoon of December 3.

Those who witnessed the signing were  Senate President Vicente Sotto III, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Maria Imelda Josefa Marcos, Negros Occidental 4th District Rep. Juliet Ferrer, Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

During his keynote speech, Duterte said that the republic act signed is vital in relation to “realizing meaningful and lasting reform for the good of our nation.”

Effects of RA 11462

Apart from postponing the May 2020 polls and setting December 5, 2022 as the new date to hold the elections, incumbent village executives and officials of the youth council will remain in office until their successors have been duly elected or unless they have been removed or suspended.

Given the new date of the Barangay and SK elections, the new set of barangay and SK officials who get elected in December 2022 will take office on January 1, 2023.

Subsequent village and youth council polls will be held on the first Monday of December 2025 and every three years after.

Background

During his fourth State of the Nation Address on July 22, Duterte asked Congress to pass a measure suspending the elections set in May 2020, to give village officials more time to finish their programs and projects.

The Senate and the House of Representatives on November 12 ratified the bicameral conference report of their consolidated measure on the postponement of the twin elections.

This is the third deferment of the village and youth council’s elections since 2016.

Reactions

As soon as the PNA release of this development came out, I reached out to the officials of Barangay BF Homes and their Sangguniang Kabataan for reactions. So far, they have not responded to my inquiries. If ever they respond, I’ll post the reactions right here.

Meanwhile, Senator Imee Marcos posted via her Facebook page on December 4 the following words: Thank you, Mr. President! And we hope this will be the final postponement of Barangay and SK elections, so that in the future, barangay elections will be regular and predictable – one year after the national elections. Barangays are the government’s frontline, and their officials need security and support to deliver government services to the people.

For his part, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar stated that postponing the twin polls would make it easier for the incumbent village executives to implement their projects.

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC), which is the main body for elections all over the Philippines, saw its spokesperson James Jimenez saying that the postponement will allow them to focus on preparing for the 2022 Presidential Election.

 

 

Parañaque BPLO Receives Concerns About BF Homes Businesses That Built Illegal Structures on Sidewalks

Hi everyone! I’m back here with new updates about BF Homes, specifically about business establishments that built illegal structures on roads and sidewalks within the local community and within the jurisdiction of Parañaque City.

Previously, I wrote about Barangay BF Homes’ move to request the Parañaque City Business Permit and Licensing Office (Parañaque BPLO) to review the business permits of erring business establishments complete with feedback from Barangay Captain Paolo Marquez. That action of Barangay BF Homes was the result of the official letter the barangay received from developer BF Homes, Inc. (BFHI) which complained to them about business establishments inside BF Homes subdivision that made illegal structures on the roads and sidewalks (owned by the developer since they never donated the subdivision to any local government nor to any homeowners’ association).

Around the same time BFHI sent its October 2019 letter to Barangay BF Homes about the issue, the developer also sent another letter of the same nature directly to the BPLO of Parañaque.

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In the October 1, 2019 letter (received by the BPLO on October 7, 2019), BFHI President Engr. Fernando Javier wrote to Parañaque BPLO head Atty. Melanie Malaya that business establishments inside BF Homes subdivision have proliferated throughout the years without being regulated and monitored for compliance with the Building Code and other property laws. He pointed out that most of those businesses built illegal structures for their private use along the sidewalks (which are meant for public use).

Not only did Javier express the company’s disappointment over the BPLO’s continued renewal of the permits of the erring businesses (with apparent violations committed), he told Malaya that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued the July 29, 2019 Memorandum Circular (Number 2019-121) in which President Rodrigo Duterte expressly directed local chief executives to rid the roads and sidewalks of illegal structures and constructions that were being used for private ends.

Signed by DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Ano, the order stated:

Relatedly, local chief executives are hereby directed to revoke permits that give authority to private entities to occupy public roads, alleys and other thoroughfares. Prudence must also be observed in placing street signs and signages to avoid exacerbating problems on obstructions. Moreover, local sanggunians are enjoined to revisit ordinances and similar legislative measures to ensure responsiveness to this presidential directive and consistency with related laws and policies.

For strategic implementation of this Circular, all provinces, highly urbanized cities (HUCs), cities and municipalities shall prepare an inventory of all roads within its jurisdiction.

The BFHI executive reminded Malaya that President Duterte’s directive to revoke the permits of erring businesses happened months ago and already the 60-day period to achieve significant results in BF Homes has passed.

“We have not received any report of revocation of business permit,” Javier wrote.

BFHI made clear in its letter that if they don’t see any significant results done by the BPLO, they will report the matter to the DILG.

To find what happened, I visited the BPLO at Parañaque City Hall yesterday. The head of the BPLO, Atty. Malaya, was not present (note: she was at a meeting). However, there were a few officials who were authorized to answer my inquiry as to what the BPLO has been doing with regards to the BFHI’s direct complaint (which is clearly related to Barangay BF Homes’ request for them to review business permits).

A BPLO official told me that the complaint of BFHI has since been endorsed to the Office of the Building Official of Parañaque (Parañaque OBO) and they will follow-up soon with them if any development has been made. The BPLO stated that the OBO is involved since the aspects of construction and following the National Building Code are involved. They also stated that building permits are required for businesses (that have physical presence) to have their respective biz permits issued, implying that the business establishments of BF Homes subdivision had secured building permits (and other requirements) and were deemed qualified to be granted biz permits.

So that’s it as of now. The BPLO of Parañaque literally passed the ball to the OBO for feedback. While this is going on, business establishments that built illegal structures on the sidewalks of BF Homes subdivision continue to operate freely which is depressing. The DILG order is clear and yet, in BF Homes (arguably the most famous residential-commercial community of South Metro Manila), the rule of law is not felt even though there has been news media coverage about city governments clearing the roads and public places of obstruction.

More on the City Government of Parañaque, mayor Edwin Olivarez has been consistent with his repetition of his message that his administration is always business-friendly. My question is this: Does a business-friendly Parañaque mean allowing businesses to violate laws and keep operating?

If anything new happens about this hot issue, I’ll keep you readers posted.


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

Barangay BF Homes Requests PQUE City Government to Review Permits of Erring Business Establishments

This past October, Barangay BF Homes sent a request to the City Government of Parañaque to review the permits they issued to business establishments operating in their local community that built illegal structures and initiated construction projects along the sidewalks.

Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez confirmed this development to me in relation to an October 1, 2019 letter that they received (on October 3) from developer BF Homes, Inc. (BFHI).

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In that letter, BFHI Vice President for Production Engr. Fernando Javier told the barangay captain that most business establishments in the local community have built illegal structures along the sidewalks which are intended for public use.

The BFHI executive pointed out that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued on July 29, 2019 a memorandum circular (Number 2019-121) in which President Rodrigo Duterte expressly directed local chief executives to rid the roads and sidewalks of illegal structures and constructions that were being used for private ends.

The memorandum circular, signed by DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Ano, stated:

Relatedly, local chief executives are hereby directed to revoke permits that give authority to private entities to occupy public roads, alleys and other thoroughfares. Prudence must also be observed in placing street signs and signages to avoid exacerbating problems on obstructions. Moreover, local sanggunians are enjoined to revisit ordinances and similar legislative measures to ensure responsiveness to this presidential directive and consistency with related laws and policies.

For strategic implementation of this Circular, all provinces, highly urbanized cities (HUCs), cities and municipalities shall prepare an inventory of all roads within its jurisdiction.

To put things in perspective, varied city governments around the country implemented road clearing operations on roads and sidewalks.

But going into the Barangay BF Homes community, which by the way is huge, BFHI not only urged captain Paolo Marquez to act (the developer will report the matter to the DILG and the Office of the President if no significant results are realized), but they also wrote twice to the Sangguniang Barangay (Barangay BF Homes council) on November 2018 about clearing obstructions along sidewalks. BFHI reminded Marquez that the Barangay BF Homes Council claimed it will refer their demand (note: in response to the November 2018 letters) to the City Legal Office and, so far, the developer has not received any updates from the barangay.

With regards to Barangay BF Homes responding to the October 1, 2019 letter of BFHI, captain Marquez told me that they will see developments first before issuing a response to the developer. So far the barangay has yet to see an official response from the City Government whom they requested to review all permits that were issued to business establishments (including those that built illegal structures on sidewalks). It also remains to be seen if the City Government under mayor Edwin Olivarez will actually revoke the business permits of businesses found guilty of obstruction in accordance to the DILG’s July 29, 2019 memorandum circular.

Back to captain Marquez, he also mentioned that the barangay itself initiated street clearing operations back in August. To conduct clearing operations on Aguirre Avenue (which is a very long road all of which occupies the jurisdiction of Paranaque City), the barangay will have to engage with a private stakeholder first.

To put things in perspective, BF Homes, Inc. NEVER donated the roads and sidewalks to any local government unit (LGU) or homeowners association (HOA) which explains why they have the right to complain about illegal structures on the sidewalks. The BF Homes community, by the way, also stretches into the cities of Las Piñas and Muntinlupa.

Back to the barangay, there recently was a reform of the Parañaque system of processing business permits in which the barangay no longer processes applications for business clearances (clearly, they no longer issue the said clearances) and that business owners who wish to renew permits can go straight to City Hall, specifically at the Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO). Under the old system, business owners had to apply for a biz clearance at the barangay and secure it first (because it was a requirement back then) before proceeding to BPLO of the City.

Future updates on this ongoing development concerning the BF Homes community will be posted here once they happen.


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