Muntinlupa City Government Provides Big-time Assistance to Taal Volcano Eruption Victims

The City Government of Muntinlupa proved it has the heart to assist others who badly need help in times of disaster as the local authorities approved big-time relief for the many victims of the recent Taal Volcano eruption.

Firstly, the City Council of Muntinlupa approved on January 14 the Mayor Jaime Fresnedi’s proposal of a P3,000,000 donation for the municipalities of Talisay, Laurel & Agoncillo, Batangas as aide for the victims of Taal Volcano eruption for their recovery and rehabilitation.

Fresnedi called for the public to continue to stand in prayer for the safety of affected families in Batangas and encouraged city residents to participate in donation drives.

Secondly, the City Government sent 3,417 grocery packs and 381 six-liter bottles of water to evacuation centers in coordination with Batangas Incident Command Post in Fernando Air Base, Lipa City on January 15. Muntinlupa Social Services Department head Analyn Mercado confirmed that the said relief packs went to the cities and municipalities of Calaca, Alfonso, Nasugbu, Batangas, Bauan, San Pascual, Balayan, and Sto. Tomas

Relief packs given to evacuees include canned goods, water, rice, sleeping mats, utensils, clothes, and other non-food items. Mercado added that an additional 300 sacks of rice and another 2,828 six-liter bottles of water will be distributed to the evacuees in the following days.

The City Government of Muntinlupa is still accepting any kind of donations at Muntinlupa Resiliency Building (Hall of Justice Compound) in Brgy. Tunasan or Annex Building, Muntinlupa City Hall.

To donate, the public may coordinate with SSD at (02) 8861 6223 and may look for Ms. Analyn Mercado.

Since Taal Volcano erupted, thousands of people living in close proximity had no choice but to leave their homes and possessions behind, occupy evacuation centers and hang on as more forms of assistance are coming. The City Government of Muntinlupa and several others are organization donation drives and public assistance campaigns for the victims. If you want to help, now is the time.

My Observations: Ash Monday

Here in the Philippines, Taal Volcano erupted on January 12 pushing a massive amount of volcanic ash high up into the air. A short time later, the ash spread around and reached parts of Metro Manila.

The next morning, I went out for my usual hike here in Muntinlupa City going to Filinvest City. Along the way while inside our village, the volcanic ash were around me – on the side of the roads, the sidewalks, on top the leaves of some trees and over the surfaces of vehicles parked nearby. There was also collected ash that got wet as it rained the previous night.

Then I visited the local village park and saw the following…

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At the park.
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Volcanic ash still somewhat wet on this slide.
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Look at all that wet ash.

I hiked on to Filinvest City. As light from the sun was bright enough, the ash on the road and the sidewalk became clearer. There were also prints of shoes, slippers and tire tracks spotted. I took the opportunity to photograph them.

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Lots of ash on the surface of the road in Filinvest City, Alabang.
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The view outside Commercenter.
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This guy was the first Filinvest City cleaner (he wore a Filinvest City uniform) I saw along Commerce Avenue.

I went further to Festival Mall. Unsurprisingly their roads and parking lots had lots of ash around. As I walked on, I wondered how many people with equipment they will deploy to clean up their parking spaces.

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At one of the parking lots of Festival Mall.

So I saw a lot about the volcanic ash in Alabang that morning. Certain things I saw during my morning hike reminded me a bit of what I saw back in 1991 regarding the volcanic ash Mount Pinatubo released. Metro Manila was not spared back then.

 Still nothing prepared me for the volcanic ash that I saw as I drove from Alabang to our office in Laguna via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). As many vehicles moved both ways along the highway, there as a lot of Taal Volcano’s ash the view became less visible on certain stretches.

Then I took a short stopover at one of the gas stations along the SLEX. Here is what I saw.

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So much volcanic ash on the open space.
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A maintenance worker struggles to collect the volcanic ash.

The gas station was dirty with the volcanic ash. Many cars that were there were also dirty and people, including the maintenance workers, were seen wearing face masks. I witnessed one maintenance worker near me doing clean-up work by moving the volcanic ash into a pile and then collecting them and storing them into a black garbage bag.

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More of the ash collected at the place.

Seeing him work like that made me pray that he and all other personnel assigned to do cleaning will get compensated well by their respective employers. There is so much Taal Volcano ash around, it will take quite some time and effort before achieving cleanliness.

I also pray that the victims – those who live in close proximity to Taal Volcano – will receive sufficient assistance from the local authorities as well as private donors or groups doing charity work. This is because those victims’ lives got disrupted and many of them had to leave their homes temporarily.

One credible organization to donate to is Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines which announced already its campaign to help Taal Volcano victims. Visit their website right here. Another worthy organization accepting donations is New Life Community Care.

The victims of the natural disaster need our help and prayers. Remember that.

So that’s it. January 13, 2020 will be remembered as one of the most unusual Mondays I had in many years. Given the tremendous amount of volcanic ash spotted EVERYWHERE I went that day, it is fitting for me to call the day as Ash Monday.


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

 

 

Muntinlupa Real Property Taxpayers to Receive 10% Discount Upon Timely Payment

The City Government of Muntinlupa announced yesterday the schedule of payment of real property tax in their city for 2020 and also launched its incentives program for RPT payers who will pay on or before quarterly deadline.

Muntinlupa City Treasurer’s Office released the deadline of payment of real property tax on the following dates: March 1, 2020 (1st Installment, Q1), June 30, 2020 (2nd Installment, Q2), September 30, 2020 (3rd Installment, Q3), and December 31, 2020 (4th Installment, Q4).

Taxpayers with no delinquency who shall pay their real property taxes on or before deadlines of payment are entitled to a ten percent (10%) discount.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi lauded this incentive system as it will boost tax revenues for the city to be utilized in various programs and services for the city residents. The mayor said the City Government shifts in being more customer-driven which accelerates public services, bringing ease transactions for the public.

RPT payers in Muntinlupa can also pay their taxes at Muntinlupa Online Real-Property Payment System (MORPS) through the electronic banking system of the Land Bank of the Philippines.

The RPT e-Payment system, first of its kind in Metro Manila, aims to course transaction of its major taxpayers through electronic channels to provide them with efficient and less-time consuming delivery of services.

An interface with MORPS will handle real-time property tax payment and can process transactions in less than 15 minutes. An easy and taxpayer-friendly application for every Muntinlupenos, it targets to speed up the transaction for the convenience of taxpayers and the reduction of red-tape and under-the-table propositions.

Fresnedi encouraged Muntinlupeños to pay their respective bills ahead of time to avoid penalties.

While MCTO introduced the incentive program, it also noted that upon expiration of the periods given, an interest of two percent (2%) per month not exceeding 36 months or 72% shall be imposed upon delinquent properties for failure to pay the basic real property tax or any other tax levied under the Revenue Code.

For more information, RPT payers can log-in to http://www.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/RPT/ or visit the City Treasurer’s Office located at Ground Floor, Main Building, Muntinlupa City Hall with tel nos. 8862-2525 loc. 120 or 8862-1491.

Muntinlupa City Government Organizes Business Permit Renewal until January 20, awards early taxpayers

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Top Ten “Early Bird” Taxpayers in the 2020 Muntinlupa Business Permit Renewal receive cerficates of recognition and grocery packages from the City Government. Mayor Jaime Fresnedi meets early taxpayers and extended his gratitude to the business owners for renewing their businesses in the city on January 2. The business renewal event will run from January 2- 20 at Muntinlupa Sports Complex, Tunasan. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

The City Government of Muntinlupa awarded early taxpayers with incentives and grocery packages for being the first of many who applied and settled their dues in the 2020 Muntinlupa Business Permit Renewal which will run until January 20.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi awarded certificates of recognition and grocery packages to the Top Ten Early Taxpayers in this year’s Business Permit Renewal on January 2. The Top Ten Early Taxpayers were the following: Abraham Tiro (Mama Nene Store), Lani Santos (Lito and Lani Food House), Josielyn Delez (E.J.D. Mini Store), Josephine Dejan (FDA Dejan Construction Services), Cesar Bronola Lastrilla (Mercy Salon), Milagros Salvador (Mila and Noli Scrap Woods), Elizabeth Sabalboro (Beth Sari-Sari Store), Ma. Pinky Lynsey (MPLG Begona Trading), Cynthia Olaes (Cynthia’s Sari-Sari Store), and Cherrie Flores (Mini-Mini Store).

The mayor thanked the business owners for their punctuality in paying their dues and renewing their businesses in the city. Fresnedi also urged other locators to avoid penalties and skip “rush days” of registration nearing the deadline.

The 2020 Business Permit Renewal officially started on the morning of January 2 and will conclude on January 20. Currently, there are 15,708 registered business in the city. The Muntinlupa Business Permits and Licensing Office recorded a significant increase of over 187% in business tax collection over the past seven years.

For the convenience of the taxpayers, a One-Stop Shop arrangement in the Business Permit Renewal Hub has been installed at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex in Barangay Tunasan. Requirements from Barangay Halls and Regulatory Offices can be acquired in the location of the Renewal as representatives of said agencies will be rendering service simultaneously.

Taxpayers can pay using Debit Cards in the renewal event. Mobile ATMs as well as a Closed-Circuit Television System were also installed across the venue. Business owners registering in the renewal may also access the internet through a free wi-fi connection.

Making matters even more convenient is the shuttle service provided for clients going to the venue. The pick-up points are located at Muntinlupa City Hall Quadrangle in Putatan and Muntinlupa City Public Market in Alabang.

The list of requirements is posted in Muntinlupa BPLO Facebook page at fb.com/bplo.muntinlupa. For inquiries, you may call the department’s hotline at 8317-9964 or email at bplo.muntinlupa@yahoo.com.

My Observations: Pizza Telefono in Alabang

This past Christmas Day at Westgate, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, I was walking to the parked car coming from Starbucks Reserve planning to go back home. As I was about to open the car, I noticed something nearby and decided to walk to it and check it out.

It turns out that the Alabang branch of Pizza Telefono was already open and waiting for customers. Out of curiosity, I entered the restaurant and approached the counter to see what was listed on their menu.

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The counter.
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Tables and chairs.

To say the least, they had an interesting selection of meals that surely will interest food enthusiasts, notably those who love Italian cuisine. They have hand-tossed pizza (9 variants or flavors), thin-crust pizza (9 variants), premium hand-tossed pizza (6 variants) pasta, premium breakfast meals, salad, chicken, baked rolls and the unique Chicago pizza pot pie (Ragu and Mushroom).

As it was Christmas Day, I had to help with the family hosting a party at home so eating there at the Alabang branch of Pizza Telefono was out of the question.

Today, I returned to the restaurant for lunch. I ordered their spaghetti with meatballs.

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Pizza Telefono’s spaghetti with meatballs.
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This piece of bread is several inches long and thick enough.

The meal came with a generous amount of noodles, pasta sauce with stewed tomatoes, a piece of bread and three meatballs. For my first bite, I cut a piece of meatball and took it in. Instantly, there was this Italian taste on my tongue. The piece of meatball, to my surprise, was not that warm. It was smooth enough to chew on, though.

When it comes to taste, I felt that the spaghetti of Pizza Telefono tasted very similar to that of Sbarro’s (the one with tomato sauce). Even the texture of the noodles were similar. The piece of bread, meanwhile, was long and thick enough.

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This is one of the meatballs partially cut open.

Overall, the spaghetti and meatball meal of Pizza Telefono was satisfying and tasty enough. It was tasty, I did not use any condiments to enjoy it. At P275, it was worth it. The meatballs could have been a warmer, though.

With regards to the restaurant itself, as it is still brand new as of this writing, there are still some shortcomings. While there were lots of tables and chairs filling the rectangular space, I was told that the far-end section was still closed. When I made my first order for beverages, bottled water, canned sodas and Minute Maid were unavailable. I had to settle with their local drinking water.

Being an Alabang resident, I plan to revisit Pizza Telefono as I’m really interested to try out soon one of their pizzas. Their premium breakfast meals looked interesting too.

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The entrance of Pizza Telefono Alabang.

For the South Metro Manila residents as well as those coming from nearby Laguna and Cavite, Pizza Telefono Alabang branch inside Westgate is a short walking distance away from Contis Alabang and Fitness First Alabang. One end of the restaurant faces the said two establishments. For those who are about to visit Westgate for the first time, prepare to pay for parking.


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

 

 

 

 

My Observations: Muntinlupa City the 8th Most Competitive Highly Urbanized City of the Nation in this Year’s Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI)

When it comes to being competitive among the many cities of the Philippines, making the Top Ten of the most important category is a big achievement already. Thanks to the respective news releases of Business Mirror and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) the latest Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) for 2019 showed that Muntinlupa City is now the 8th most competitive highly urbanized city (HUC) of the entire nation.

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Specifically, Muntinlupa is one of six Metro Manila cities that made the Top 10 of the Most Competitive Highly Urbanized Cities category as revealed during the 7th Regional Competitiveness Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on October 24.. The city that is home to Ayala Alabang, Alabang Hills, Filinvest City and Northgate Cyberzone is the only South Metro Manila city to make it in the Top 10 of the said category. This is a notable improvement over last year’s results.

Muntinlupa’s Public Information Officer Tez Navarro responded to my inquiry by saying that their administration is glad that the city made it in the Top 10 among HUCs. I also made inquiries to my sources within the city governments of Parañaque and Las Piñas and, as of this writing, nobody responded. The Most Competitive City for HUCs is Quezon City.

In my view, it’s not surprising that Muntinlupa made it big given the City Government’s (headed by Mayor Jaime Fresnedi) continued public services, efficiency and the local economy’s strong growth. Muntinlupa also made it in the Top 10 on the categories of government efficiency and infrastructure.

As for Parañaque, this year marks another chapter in history in which the city (whose local government unit is led by mayor Edwin Olivarez) failed to break into the Top 10 among Highly Urbanized Cities. In the 2018 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index, the city that is home to BF Homes subdivision as well as those fancy casinos and resorts of Entertainment City ranked 14th among HUCs and 21st place overall in the competitiveness chart that includes HUCs and component cities.

Going back to this year’s Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index, Parañaque got tied with Caloocan City for the 3rd place ranking for the Most Improved LGUs category among HUCs. The Most Improved LGU for Highly Urbanized Cities is shared at the top by Valenzuela and Malabon. When it comes to economic dynamism and infrastructure,  Parañaque got mentioned.

Now that the CMCI for 2019 has been published, now is a good time to take a close look at the infrastructure quality and government efficiency in Parañaque. Very recently traffic along Presidents Avenue (the road that connects Dr. A. Santos Avenue with the BF Homes commercial zone and the villages) worsened due to the three road operations (two belonging to Maynilad and one with the Department of Public Works and Highways) happening there at the same time. Those operations occupied significant space on the road making the flow of traffic tighter and more congested. Already motorists who travel regularly along Presidents Avenue are already annoyed with the worsened traffic congestion and a few of them questioned as to why is it that the City Government did not bother to send inspectors on the three road operations. Going back to this year’s CMCI, government efficiency is clearly where Parañaque is lacking.

As for the City of Las Piñas, there is a lack of available information as to how it fared among HUCs in varied categories as of this writing.

Ranking the Competitiveness

According to the CMCI website, The rankings of Cities and Municipalities are based on the sum of their scores on four pillars: Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructure and Resiliency. Provincial rankings meanwhile are based on population and income weighted average of the Overall scores of cities and municipalities under a province.

The Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index or CMCI is an annual ranking of Philippine cities and municipalities developed by the National Competitiveness Council through the Regional Competitiveness Committees (RCCs) with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development.