Get ready for the “Build, Better, More” infrastructure program

If there is something highly significant done by the previous administration under former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that a lot of people will benefit from, it would be the “Build Build Build” infrastructure program which was designed to grow the economy, reduce poverty and solve congestion. This resulted in expansion and improvements through projects on roads, bridges, highways, airports and also water resources. For more on the impact of “Build Build Build”, click here and here.

Of course, the 6-year term of Duterte was ultimately insufficient to complete all the projects of the program (note: the incomplete ones are still continuing) and now we have a new leader with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., who specifically mentioned infrastructure during his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Yesterday, it was reported by the Manila Bulletin that a new infrastructure program under the Marcos administration has officially been announced as “Build, Better, More”. Other than the name, there are notable details listed which will give people a clear idea about what to expect about the continued development of Philippine infrastructure.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…

“Build, Better, More”–or BBM for short–is officially a program of the Marcos administration, and the executive branch is asking P1.196 trillion from Congress in order to fund it next year.

Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman acknowledged during a press conference with House reporters Monday, Aug. 22 that the BBM program was an “expansion” of the previous Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure modernization initiative.

BBM is also the initials of the incumbent President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

The BBM program was listed as a “spending priority” on the DBM’s briefer on the 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP), which the agency submitted to the House of Representatives Monday.

A total of P1.196 trillion has been allocated for the government’s 2023 infrastructure programs,” read a statement from DBM, referring to the budget being sought from lawmakers.

“The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will receive [a] P718.4-[billion] budget in 2023, while the Department of Transportation will receive P167.1 [billion] in 2023–an increase by 120.4 percent for its P75.8-[billion] budget in 2022, which covers the augmented funding requirements for various foreign assisted railway projects,” it stated.

Pangandaman said during the presser that BBM includes “convergence programs with Department of Tourism, Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Trade and Industry”.

“Related po doon sa Build, Better, More program natin (Related to our Build, Better, More program), which is an expansion of the Build, Build, Build program are programs po under the DOTr,” the DBM chief noted.

Among the major transportation infrastructure projects that will be implemented include the North-South Commuter Railway (costing P75.1 billion), Metro Manila Subway Project (P26.3 billion), and Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 Cavite Extension Project (P2.7 billion).

Also linked to the BBM program are more specific infrastructure initiatives such as the Network Development Program (P140.4 billion), Asset Preservation Program (P88.5 billion), and Bridge Program (P38 billion).

Pangandaman said that the Network Development Program’s purpose is to “expand the connectivity and road systems across the country”. On the other hand, the Asset Preservation Program involves “maintenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction”.

“We also have the Bridge Program po, [the] construction and maintenance and repair of bridges,” she added.

In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 25, Marcos said, “The backbone of an economy is its infrastructure. The infrastructure program of the Duterte administration must not only continue but, whenever possible, be expanded. We shall confidently build on this firm foundation established by my predecessor. As it is in building an edifice, we must keep the momentum and aspire to Build Better More.”

The 2023 NEP, which is the precursor of the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) or proposed national budget, will be scrutinized first in the House of Representatives. It will eventually endorse to the Senate its GAB after they approve it on third and final reading.

Regardless of who is in-charge in the national government, I personally favor the widespread, massive development of infrastructure projects around the country. In my honest opinion, improved and expanded infrastructure will pave way for better economic growth covering vast sectors like industry, commerce, tourism, real estate, agriculture and more. The past Build, Build, Build and the new Build, Better, More are clearly more than just about solving traffic congestion. The Marcos administration now has the task of implementing the new infrastructure program which will not only improve infrastructure but also create new jobs.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Are you glad that President Marcos and his administration are focused on continuing the momentum of massive infrastructure development that his predecessor started? What kind infrastructure projects would you want the nation government to start working on?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. 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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

420-kilometer SLEX toll road approved

Traveling south along the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) will lead to more destinations faster as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and other stakeholders approved the SLEX TR5 (South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 5) which is over 400 kilometers long, according to a Malaya news report. The said toll road stretches from Lucena, Quezon province to Matnog, Sorsogon.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Malaya news report. Some parts in boldface…

The Department of Transportation (DOTr), along with other government agencies, has given the green light for the 420-kilometer South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 5 (SLEX TR5) from Lucena, Quezon to Matnog, Sorsogon.

The supplemental toll operations agreement was signed last June 3, almost two years after the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) designated San Miguel Corp.’s proposal as a certified toll road project.

The agreement was signed by the DOTr, TRB, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and San Miguel Holdings Corp. (SMHC), and will be submitted to the Office of the President for approval.

As a toll road project, SLEX TR5 will involve various activities such as a right-of-way acquisition and construction, among others.

According to the TRB and the toll concessionaire, SLEX TR5 will connect Quezon and the provinces in Bicol. It is also expected to provide better and safer access to the tourism destinations, roll-on roll-off ports and fish ports in the provinces as well as address the traffic congestion in Bicol Region.

The TR5 is a four-lane divided toll road that starts from the terminal point of the SLEX TR4 project at Barangay Mayao, Lucena City in Quezon and ends at Matnog in Sorsogon near the Matnog Ferry Terminal.

SLEX TR5 is composed of eight segments which will run parallel to the existing Philippine National Railways, Maharlika Highway and Padre Burgos National Road or Quirino Highway.

The first segment is a 59.6-km. expressway from Lucena to Gumaca in Quezon that is estimated to cost P22.6 billion. Segment 1 is expected to be completed within 24 months, according to the DPWH.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Once the toll road is completed, do you intend to travel far further south?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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. 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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

COVID-19 Crisis: No Vax, No Ride policy is unconstitutional and discriminating?

Life has gotten much more challenging for the many people here in the Philippines who still have not yet gotten vaccinated for COVID-19. The unvaccinated people are being regulated by varied government units (for reference, click here, here and here). Just yesterday, the No Vax, No Ride policy under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) was implemented officially and already two drivers have been apprehended within Muntinlupa City for allegedly violating it.

At the same time, someone has spoken out against the No Vax, No Ride policy with regards to legality and constitutionality, according to a GMA Network news report. To put things in perspective posted below is an excerpt from the GMA news report. Some parts in boldface…

The recent policy requiring commuters to present their vaccination cards before boarding public vehicles is unconstitutional and discriminatory, Public Attorneys Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta said Monday.

“I think the policy of the LGUs is highly unconstitutional and against the law,” Acosta told ANC.

Acosta cited Republic Act 11525 which states that vaccine cards “shall not be considered an additional mandatory requirement for educational, employment, and other similar government transaction purposes.”

“And yet they are circumventing. Lalabag nila ‘yung batas indirectly para mapiitan kang magpabakuna. You need magpabakuna para pasakayin ka. Ano ‘yun pinupwersa,” Acosta said.

(And yet they are circumventing. You will indirectly violate the law so you will be forced to get vaccinated. You need to get vaccinated so you will be able to board. You are being forced.)

Under the new policy, only full vaccinated individuals in the National Capital Region may board public transportation vehicles while the region is under Alert Level 3 or higher. Alert Level 3 is currently in effect in NCR until January 31.

Exemptions to the policy include persons with medical conditions that prevent their full COVID-19 vaccination as proven by a duly-signed medical certificate with the name and contact details of their doctor.

Another exemption is those who will buy essential goods and services, such as but not limited to food, water, medicine, medical devices, public utilities, energy, work, and medical and dental necessities, as shown by a duly issued barangay health pass or other proof to justify the travel.

Despite these, Acosta maintained that the policy is unconstitutional.

“That’s unconstitutional because the Bill of Rights, Section 1 states that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, and property without due process of law,” she said.

“You know you are discriminating against the unvaccinated and then you are just favoring the vaccinated. You let them ride and then the unvaccinated anong gagawin, maglalakad?” she added.

She also cited the patient’s rights in the Department of Health portal. “May karapatan ang pasyente na tumanggi sa bakuna at tumanggi sa ano mang medicine dahil ang katawang ito pagaari mo mismo, hindi pagaari ng gobyerno ang katawan mo,” she said.

(Patients have the right to refuse vaccinees and medicine because they own their bodies, the government does not own their bodies.)

According to the PAO chief, the public has the right to refuse to become an “experimental pig.”

“Dahil inamin ng gobyerno sa batas na ito, nasusulat, state recognizes the experimental nature of COVID vaccine and will compensate serious adverse effects,” she said.

(The government said it recognizes the experimental nature of the vaccine and will compensate serious adverse effects.)

She said authorities should instead explain to the public the benefits of getting vaccinated as well as inform them of the risks.

“Pag magkasakit kayo, sagot kayo ng mayor, wala kayong problema… Ang problema ng tao pangbili ng pagkain, paano pa ‘yung pang pa-ospital. Explain nila ‘yung beauty of the vaccine,” she said.

(If individuals get sick, the local government should pay… the public already has troubling paying for food, what more for hospitalization. They should explain the beauty of the vaccine.)

“Ngayon, kung hindi kumbinsido ang tao pa rin, abay hayaan niyo siya mag desisyon, siya ang mananagot noon,” she added.

(Now, if they are not convinced, they should be allowed to decide.)

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your opinion right now about the No Vax, No Ride policy? If you are still unvaccinated, were you affected negatively by the policy? If you are negatively affected, are you looking for someone to stand up and move forward to challenge the legality of the No Vax, No Ride policy? Did you spot any city government personnel who abused their authorities on the unvaccinated?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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. 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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: DOTr Sec. Tugade lauds vaccination in Muntinlupa City, vows to request more vaccine supply for the city

Department of Transportation secretary Arthur “Art” Tugade recognized the vaccination efforts of Muntinlupa City government and lauded the medical workers in the vaccination centers for their exemplary service.

Sec. Tugade lauded the City Government’s vaccination operations during a virtual meeting with Mayor Jaime Fresnedi and other local officials on Tuesday.

DOTr Secretary Tugade vaccinated in Muntinlupa City. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

The transportation secretary said he personally witnessed the efficient system in vaccination centers in the city as he recently completed his 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Ayala Malls South Park, Alabang under the A2 priority group (senior citizen).

“Maayos ang sistema at properly trained ang mga nagtuturok ng bakuna. Isa ang Muntinlupa sa mga nag-improve na LGU sa Metro Manila pagdating sa pagbabakuna,” said DOTr Sec. Tugade.

Recently, the City Government has recorded the highest number of vaccinations with over 5,450 individuals who were vaccinated with their first dose last June 10. It is the highest record since the rollout of vaccination in Muntinlupa last March.

Further, Sec. Tugade also committed to help the city by personally requesting for more vaccine supply and its speedy delivery from the national government as the demand for vaccines in Muntinlupa continue to rise.

As of June 11, the total vaccines deployed in the city is at 106,819, of which 80,356 were given as 1st dose and 26,463 for 2nd dose. There are already 159,490 registered individuals in the city’s COVID-19 vaccine registration system MunCoVac, which comprises 41.3% of the target population to be vaccinated.

The City Government urges residents and other qualified individuals who are not yet registered in the city’s online COVID-19 Vaccination Registration System to sign-up via www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac.

As a result of the local vaccination efforts, the Muntinlupa City Health Office has recorded a decrease in COVID-19 cases. As of June 14, there are only 489 active cases in the city, with 12,550 recoveries, 357 reported deaths, 99 suspect cases, 1,443 probable cases, and 13,396 confirmed cases.

Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi and DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade met recently. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Mayor Fresnedi extends his thanks to Sec. Tugade, the city’s “Big Brother,” for his continued assistance to Muntinlupa and expediting national government services for the city.

Recently, cabinet members were assigned to Metro Manila cities and other provinces to oversee local health system performance, critical care capacity, and stringent compliance to surveillance, isolation, and treatment protocols. Sec. Tugade was designated in Muntinlupa, being a resident of the city himself.

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The above details were sourced from an official press release issued by the Muntinlupa PIO.

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. 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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

SMC President Ramon S. Ang declares Skyway northbound extension structurally complete

Motorists coming from south of Metro Manila (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and other southern destinations) here in the Philippines will have something good to look forward to as San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president Ramon S. Ang formally announced that the northbound section of the Skyway Extension project has been completed structurally and by the end of this month, asphalt-laying will be done.

This announcement by the charismatic businessman and infrastructure developer reflects his corporation’s commitment to the public providing a long-term solution to the traffic congestion problems of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), particularly the area approaching the Alabang area of Muntinlupa City. It is San Miguel Corporation that spearheaded this project in coordination with the national authorities. This is a great example of how a major private sector player (as well as one of the Philippines’ largest corporations) made a breakthrough on Philippine infrastructure that will benefit many motorists and passengers in the generations to come. This is something that the anti-prosperity, anti-business, socialist and Communist fanatics cannot discredit.

Going back to the announcement, below is an excerpt from the press release published through the Philippine News Agency (PNA) website…

“I’m happy to announce that soon, we can open the northbound section of the Skyway Extension for our motorists coming from the south. This almost four-kilometer, three-lane expansion will have an additional capacity of 4,500 vehicles per hour, significantly easing congestion and allowing motorists to bypass the Alabang viaduct. Those coming from SLEX or MCX can go up the ramp at Susana Heights, and directly go to Makati, Manila, Skyway 3, all the way to Quezon City and North Luzon Expressway,” he said in a statement Wednesday. 

Ang said one can be at NLEX in 25 to 30 minutes instead of two to three hours, and bypass the usual traffic chokepoints such as Alabang, Magallanes, and Edsa. 

“This will be a big relief to so many motorists and will do a lot to ease traffic in southern Metro Manila, including on public roads leading to SLEX and Skyway,” he added. 

Conceptualized and fully funded by SMC, the Skyway Extension project started in late 2019. The northbound section stretches 3.99 kilometers from Susana Heights to Sucat. 

It is seen to decongest SLEX and Skyway at-grade traffic by diverting motorists straight to the elevated Skyway. 

The project was originally set for completion by December 2020 but was affected by delays and work limitations brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) global pandemic, starting with the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) implemented beginning middle of March last year. 

Ang thanked motorists and stakeholders, including the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transportation, the local government of Muntinlupa, and private companies such as Filinvest, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), and Meralco, for their full cooperation and support for the project.  

While those were a lot of details, I did notice that there is no fixed date yet as to when exactly will the northbound structure (the wide ramp of which is located many meters before the Filinvest Exit and the Alabang viaduct) will be opened to the public. To put things clearly, SMC and its contractors are doing the finishing touches.

Regardless, this is still great news and in due time the opening will happen. I guess it will be opened formally during the summer season. Once a new update has been made, I will update you all.

In the meantime, please kindly share this to motorists, relatives or friends you know who need to travel from the south to the Metro Manila and to the north.

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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. 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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

SMC President Ramon S. Ang clarifies Skyway Stage 3 remains open to motorists

Are you a motorist who needs to go way north, or way south or somewhere in between in the heart of Metro Manila? Here are some good news for you all: Skyway Stage 3 remains open to motorists as confirmed by San Miguel Corporation President Ramon S. Ang.

Very recently, there was confusion when it was announced that Stage 3 of the elevated expressway would close down on March 16, 2021 starting 5PM. Below is the excerpt from the GMA News report…

“In accordance with the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) directive, the Skyway Stage 3 will be closed indefinitely starting 16 March 2021 at 5PM,” the Skyway Stage 3 management said in a post on Twitter on Monday night.

The elevated expressway will be reopened once all ramps are completed, as ordered by TRB, it said.

“Apologies for the inconvenience. SMC Infrastructure has no choice but to comply,” management said.

However, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) issued an advisory on Tuesday saying the TRB has not issued a decision or directive ordering the closure indefinitely of Skyway Stage 3.

“This is to inform the public that the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) DID NOT ISSUE a decision or directive ordering the indefinite closure of the Skyway Stage 3 starting 5 p.m. of 16 March 2021,” the DOTr said.

“The Toll Regulatory Board DID NOT ISSUE a decision or directive ordering the indefinite closure of the Skyway Stage 3,” it added.

“TRB’s position is to keep Skyway Stage 3 OPEN for the benefit of motorists,” the DOTr added.

“The TRB is composed of the Department of Transportation, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Finance, National Economic Development Authority, and a representative from the private sector,” it said.

“Yes, I have just talk[ed] to [Transportation] Sec. [Arthur] Tugade. He will take care of TRB (Toll Regulatory Board),” Ang told GMA News Online.

As you can see above, things got really confusing and it was a major relief that Ramon Ang clarified that Skyway Stage 3 would not be closed. To put things in perspective, the 18-kilometer long Skyway Stage 3 was fully opened toll-free to motorists this past January and the TRB has yet to approve the proposed toll rates for it.

Now that the issue has been resolved, keep using Skyway Stage 3 for as long as you need it to move around. Please share this article to fellow motorists and other Skyway travelers you personally know. Thanks.

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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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

CREATE bill to boost Philippine economy by cutting corporate income tax and implementing incentives

Yesterday, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez announced that the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act is aimed to reduce the corporate income tax which should lead to creating more jobs as well as attracting investments.

Given the dramatic fall of the Philippine economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CREATE bill could be the big solution to boost the economy and pave the way for recovery. For almost a year now, the said pandemic caused a lot of people to lose their jobs and much of their income. A lot of businesses closed down as well.

For your reference, here is a long excerpt of the news release about the said bill published via Philippine News Agency (PNA). Key words are highlighted in bold:

The recent bicameral approval of the game-changing CREATE Act can also provide a big boost to the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) Task Force chaired by the DTI and co-chaired by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), which was signed last Feb. 5 by several agencies.  

“The landmark tax and incentives reform bill that we expect to be signed by the President is expected to bring in (a) massive inflow of investments that will create more jobs, especially as we focus efforts in the National Employment Recovery during this period of the pandemic and beyond. The passing of CREATE will firm up the tax and incentive reforms that will make the investment climate significantly more attractive than the current tax and incentive regime,” Lopez said in a statement.

He said the bill will certainly encourage more investments with the lowering of the corporate income taxes rate from 30 percent to 20 percent for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and 25 percent for large corporations.

“Modernizing the incentives system likewise makes the incentives such as income tax holiday (ITH), special corporate income tax rates (SCIT) or enhanced deductions (ED), available to industries considered strategic, critical or export oriented,” he added.

The Trade chief said the length of incentives, such as four to seven years of ITH plus five or 10 years of SCIT or ED, will depend on the nature of industry, export or domestic oriented, degree of technology and value adding, and geographical location, with additional years outside the Metro Manila and urban centers.

“There is also (a) longer transition period for those currently granted incentives. Thus, incentives are now made more performance-based, focused and timebound,” Lopez said.

CREATE is a bill certified urgent by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte upon the recommendation of the economic team led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

Lopez also thanked the legislators at the Senate and the House of Representatives, with Sen. Pia Cayetano and Rep. Joey Salceda, respectively, as principal authors, for the hard work of the committee members in bringing the CREATE bill to fruition.

“The passing of CREATE will unleash the growth potential of investments by removing uncertainties during the period that the bill was under deliberation,” Lopez said. “Based on our estimate and those from Cong. Joey Salceda, CREATE can bring in over PHP200 billion of new investments that can generate 1.4 (million) to 2 million incremental jobs.”

CREATE will help boost investments in the Philippines, which would support the 2021 target of the Board of Investments (BOI) of PHP1.25-trillion investment approvals.

A report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) had also estimated that the Philippines bucked the trend in Southeast Asia, and had increased its foreign direct investments (FDIs) during the pandemic by 29 percent last year.

Meanwhile, the NERS 2021-2023 is a medium-term plan anchored on the updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 and ReCharge PH by expanding the Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan initiative and improving access and security of employment.

The strategy also takes into consideration the changes in the labor market brought about by the pandemic and the fast adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe) technologies.

“NERS shall also consolidate all measures, programs, and institutions that influence the demand and supply of labor, as well as the functioning of labor markets,” Lopez said.

Members of NERS Oversight Committee include the Departments of Transportation (DOTr), Tourism (DOT), Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Science and Technology (DOST), Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Agriculture (DA), Agrarian Reform (DAR), Interior and Local Government (DILG), Information and Communications Technology (DICT),  Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and National Security Council (NSC), as well as the Office of the Cabinet Secretary (OCS), Departments of Finance (DOF) and Budget and Management (DBM), and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said: “This JMC (joint memorandum circular) will fortify our collective undertaking as a Task Force working to develop a policy environment that encourages the generation of more employment opportunities, improves employability and productivity of workers, and supports existing and emerging businesses.”

Lopez further stressed the importance of continuing with the calibrated and safe reopening of the economy to allow the country to regain the growth momentum that it had before the pandemic. 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this post engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. 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

Muntinlupa City inaugurates Molecular Lab, Isolation Facility on 103rd Founding Anniversary

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade and Mayor Jaime Fresnedi led the inauguration of the city’s Molecular Laboratory and We Heal As One Center Isolation Facility in Filinvest, Alabang in time with the celebration of Muntinlupa’s 103rd Founding Anniversary.

National and local government execs, along with other Filinvest officials, inspected the Molecular Laboratory in Ospital ng Muntinlupa and the148-bed Isolation Facility in Filinvest Tent Parking Area this past Saturday (December 19, 2020).

A 148-Emergency Quarantine Facility and Molecular Laboratory were inaugurated in Muntinlupa as part of the local 103rd Founding Anniversary. Attending the ceremony were (L-R) Filinvest Alabang Inc. vice president for townships Don Ubaldo, Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, Congressman Ruffy Biazon, and DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Attending the ceremony were DPWH Bureau of Construction director Eric Ayapana,BFP Sr. Supt. Jose Edgar Balita, DOTr Usec Artemio Tuazon, Filinvest Alabang Inc. vice president for townships Don Ubaldo, Congressman Ruffy Biazon, Ospital ng Muntinlupa director Dr. Edwin Dimatatac, and City Heath Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao.

The Muntinlupa City Molecular Laboratory is now operational after its accreditation from the Department of Health in a bid to strengthen the local testing capacity and COVID-19 response efforts.

Test results in the facility may be released within the day of the collection of swab samples. Under the approved pricing scheme, the RT-PCR swab test performed at the Muntinlupa Molecular Laboratory costs 3,800 pesos. Indigent admitted patients qualified in OsMun’s No Balance Billing scheme and patients with valid Philhealth coverage can avail discounted prices.

Swabbing of out-patient clients will be accommodated from Mondays to Fridays, except holiday, 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM. While the molecular laboratory will be open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on weekdays. All other request for in-patient and emergency request are subject to regular specimen collection.

Further, the newly inaugurated 148-bed We Heal As One Center in Filinvest Tent Alabang is the city’s second Emergency Quarantine Facility constructed by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

The isolation facility is set to be managed by the Bureau of Fire Protection while the City Government pledged to fund its utility charges.

Last October, DPWH Sec. Mark Villar, DOTr Sec. Tugade, and Mayor Fresnedi led the blessing ceremony of the 144-bed Emergency Quarantine Facility in Pacwood Site, Brgy. Tunasan.

The City Government of Muntinlupa is implementing a mandatory self-isolation policy, or admission to city isolation facilities if requirements for home quarantine are not met as certified by the City Health Office (CHO), for anyone who have undergone COVID-19 swab testing.

Fresnedi extended his gratitude to Sec. Tugade’s assistance for the construction of the COVID-19 facilities in the city which he noted as an augmentation to local efforts in curbing the virus.

Following the inauguration ceremony, a short event was held in Muntinlupa City Hall Quadrangle to recognize partner companies and individuals who have contributed to the local COVID-19 response and recovery initiatives.

This year’s awardees include ABS CBN Corporation (Lingkod Kapamilya), Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) – Alabang, Filinvest Corporate City Foundation Inc., National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), San Miguel Foundation, Inc., Sytin Foundation Inc., Insular Foundation, Leonio Group Corporation, Jollibee Food Corporation, New Life Church Alabang, Engr. Rodante C. Corpuz, and Mr. Ben Tiu.

In his message, Mayor Jaime Fresnedi extended his thanks to the city’s partners for their generous donations to help Muntinlupeños recover from the challenges of the pandemic.

Further, Fresnedi announced that the City Government has initially prepared 170 million pesos budget for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine for Muntinlupa. He noted that while the National Government has a roll-out plan, the city will be allocating its own budget for the vaccination program to ensure all Muntinlupa residents will receive the vaccine.

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The above information and image were provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

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COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa opens Molecular Laboratory to boost local testing efforts and COVID-19 response

The Muntinlupa City Molecular Laboratory is now operational following its accreditation from the Department of Health (DOH) in a bid to strengthen the local testing capacity and COVID-19 response efforts.

Ospital ng Muntinlupa (OsMun) director Dr. Edwin Dimatatac said the city’s molecular laboratory started processing swab samples from COVID-19 patients on Wednesday. He noted that test results may be released within the day of the collection of swab samples.

Under the approved pricing scheme, the RT-PCR swab test performed at the Muntinlupa Molecular Laboratory costs P3,800. Indigent admitted patients qualified in OsMun’s No Balance Billing scheme and patients with valid Philhealth coverage can avail discounted prices.

Swabbing of out-patient clients will be accommodated from Mondays to Fridays, except holiday, 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM. While the molecular laboratory will be open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on weekdays. All other request for in-patient and emergency request are subject to regular specimen collection.

Muntinlupa Molecular Laboratory is located at the Saklolo at Gabay ng Ina at Pamilya (SAGIP) building at the back of Ospital ng Muntinlupa in Filinvest, Alabang. For more information, the public may contact OsMun at (02) 8771 0457.

Recently, Department of Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade vowed to assist Muntinlupa for the accreditation of the laboratory. Tugade also noted that Deputy Chief Implementer against COVID-19 Sec. Vince Dizon committed to donate one RT-PCR machine to Muntinlupa’s Molecular Laboratory once the accreditation is approved by the DOH.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi says the construction of the Molecular Laboratory will augment the city’s detection-isolation-treatment strategy in curbing COVID-19. The local exec noted that while the City Health Office records improvement with COVID-19 cases, the local government will not be lenient in implementing health protocols and other programs.

As of December 9, Muntinlupa City has 4,987 confirmed cases with 4,776 recoveries, 50 active cases, 161 reported deaths, 35 suspect cases, and 230 probable cases.

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Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media releases. Some parts were edited for this website.

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COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City registers lowest COVID-19 attack rate, case transmission risk in Metro Manila

Muntinlupa City has the lowest COVID-19 average daily attack rate and case transmission risk among Metro Manila cities as of November 1, according to the Department of Health’s Metro Manila Center for Health Development.

Muntinlupa City Health Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao reported the improving scenario in the city to the city’s COVID-19 Task Force during a Virtual Meeting with Department of Transportation secretary Arthur Tugade and Mayor Jaime Fresnedi yesterday.

Tuliao said that as per DOH report, Muntinlupa garnered a -55.27% 2-Week Growth Rate and an Average Daily Attack Rate of 1.99 over 100,000 population. The 2-Week Growth Rate of NCR is -37.45% while the Average Daily Attack Rate is 3.68/100,000 population. She noted that the data reflects the slowing down of community transmission in the city. DOH-NCR has given Muntinlupa a Low Risk classification.

As of November 23, the recovery rate in the city has further improved to 95.88% while the doubling time has increased to 20.66 days. Doubling time refers to the number of days for COVID-19 cases to double in number. The Muntinlupa City Health Office also recorded two barangays with zero active cases: Brgy. Buli and Brgy. Sucat.

The details from the authorities. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Further, Tuliao noted that the construction of the 144-bed ‘We Heal As One’ quarantine facility in Pacwood Site, Brgy. Tunasan and weekly coordination with DOTr Sec. Tugade and other DOTr execs contributed to the decrease and slowing down of cases in the city.

As of November 24, the isolation facility has accommodated at least 109 residents who tested positive for COVID-19 and suspect cases. Individuals admitted in the facility are given free P300 sim load / data allocation allowance, meals, medicine, and hygiene kits. A medical team, including a dedicated nutritionist, is also assigned in the facility to conduct regular check-up consultations.

The isolation center in Pacwood Site, Tunasan is subject to DOH inspection to be recognized as a PhilHealth-accredited facility. Another ‘We Heal As One’ Center is being constructed beside the Filinvest Tent in Alabang.

Meanwhile, the local health office is closely monitoring evacuees affected by the recent typhoons that are still staying in various evacuation centers in the city. Medical teams are deployed in the centers to administer vaccination and swabbing of residents who manifest COVID-19 symptoms. ‘Symptomatic’ evacuees are isolated in evacuation centers and referred to quarantine facilities. Currently, Muntinlupa has zero dengue and leptospirosis case.

Muntinlupa City has 4,852 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 4,652 recoveries, 42 active cases, 158 reported deaths, 26 suspect cases, and 240 probable cases as of November 24.

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