Senior Citizen Files Complaint Versus BF Homes Food Joint Over Refusal To Give Him Mandated 12% VAT Exemption (UPDATED: August 24, 2019)

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Prominently displayed along Aguirre Avenue inside BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City is this sign emphasizing Philippine senior citizens’ entitlement to 20% discount and exemption from 12% value-added tax.

Are you a senior citizen whose benefit under the national law was denied by a local business? Are you aware of the benefits for senior citizens under Republic Act Number 9994 (Full title: An Act Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Senior Citizens, further amending Republic Act No. 7432, As Amended, Otherwise Known As “an Act To Maximize The Contribution Of Senior Citizens To Nation Building, Grant Benefits And Special Privileges And For Other Purposes. Short title: Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010) whenever you purchase food and/or beverage in a restaurant?

Why did I ask you these questions and mentioned RA 9994? It’s quite simple – a senior citizen in BF Homes, Parañaque City filed a formal complaint against a certain food joint which refused to grant him his exemption from the 12% Value-Added Tax (VAT) when he dined at the said joint.

Here is the story with details from documents I acquired.

On June 10, 2019, Jose Luis Matti and his daughter dined at a restaurant (clue: a burger joint whose business name will be revealed in due time) along Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City. He ordered food and drinks and, under law, the discounts are limited only to food and drinks he ordered for his consumption as he is a senior citizen

The problem was that, according to Matti, the restaurant applied the 20% discount for senior citizens and yet denied him his mandated benefit of exemption from the VAT. In his June 17, 2019 letter addressed to restaurant’s owner, Matti said that the restaurant personnel he encountered on June 10 claimed they were instructed (by the owner) not to give him the 12% VAT exemption. Photocopies of the receipts were included on the said letter.

As a result, Matti filed a formal complaint against the restaurant at the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs of Parañaque City (OSCA-Parañaque) urging officer-in-charge Dante Pacheco to take action against the food joint (as per his July 12, 2019 letter to Pacheco received by the said office).

A hearing between Matti and the food joint’s owner will happen very soon at OSCA’s office at Parañaque City Hall.

I visited the restaurant along Aguirre Avenue inside BF Homes to try to meet the owner and get feedback directly from him but the personnel told me over the counter that their boss was out of town.

Understanding the legal aspect

It is stated under RA 9994 (Rule IV, Article 7) that senior citizens shall be entitled to the grant of twenty percent (20%) discount and to an exemption from the value-added tax (VAT), IF APPLICABLE, on the sale of the goods and services covered by Section 1 to 6 of this Article, from all establishments for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of senior citizens.

Section 3 (Rule IV, Article 7) includes restaurants, hotels, recreational centers, places of leisures and funeral services with regards to the above mentioned 20% discount and VAT exemption.

Item b (under Section 3, Rule IV, Article 7) focuses on restaurants. It states that the discount shall be for the purchase of food, drinks, dessert, and other consumable items served by the establishments offered for the consumption of the general public.

Item c states for Dine-in services under paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 3, and Section 4, paragraph 2 of Article 7, the privilege must be personally availed of by the senior citizen as defined under these Rules, and no proxies or authorization in favor of another person who is not a senior citizen will be honored.

Item e states Food, drinks and other consumable items provided in Section 3 (a) and (b), and Section 4, paragraph 2 of Article 7 purchased by the senior citizen shall be processed separately as an independent transaction from his/her non-eligible companions to ensure that it is his/her exclusive consumption and to enable computation of the 20% discount and the exemption from the Value Added Tax (VAT), which only the senior citizen is entitled to.

However, if the group of diners is composed entirely of senior citizens, all of whom present valid senior citizens IDs, each shall be entitled to a 20% discount and exemption from Value Added Tax.

Conclusion

This is an ongoing community development and if any breakthroughs happen, an update will be posted.

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UPDATE!

The hearing between Mr. Matti and the restaurant at the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs of Parañaque City (OSCA-Parañaque) at City Hall scheduled for August 20, 2019 did not push through due to the absence of the restaurant owner.

As such, the hearing will have to be rescheduled.

The restaurant accused in this conflict is Big Brat Burger.

 

 

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My Observations: The UJT Burger from Union Jack Tavern

Burgers have long been popular here in the Philippines and they can be bought from several makers like the fast food joints which are quite numerous.

At the expanded area of Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Union Jack Tavern has been selling and serving burgers to customers. Just open the menu when you visit them and then you will find the UJT Burger.

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The UJT Burger served to me in open sandwich fashion.

Sold for less than P300 as of this writing, the UJT Burger comes with a large plate filled with fries (which are thicker and less greasy compared to the fries sold by others) and the open sandwich with one half of the bun with the vegetables on top and the other half with the onions and beef covered with melted cheese.

In my recent stop at Union Jack Tavern, I had the UJT Burger and I started first with the fries which are quite filling and I like the fact that they are not too greasy to handle.

With the burger itself, considering the size, I took me a little effort to put the two buns (with their respective toppings) on top of each other to form the burger.

Then I took a bite on what parts are suitable for biting because this one is not the usual burger. The burger patty itself is quite thick and certainly not flat. After biting down the bread with the vegetables, I finally got to bite the cheese-covered burger patty. The result? The burger patty was quite tasty on its own and definitely worth going for. Then there is also that nice taste when biting the bread, the burger patty, the cheese and the vegetables altogether.

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The UJT Burger in its full form.

It may not be too visible for those who like burgers but failed to check Union Jack Tavern’s menu, but there is no doubt that the UJT Burger is a delicious and filling burger meal just waiting to be discovered.

The UJT Burger is highly recommended and I encourage you visit Union Jack Tavern at Festival Mall.


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: Starbucks Coffee at One Griffinstone in Alabang

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The front of Starbucks One Griffinestone branch.

Yet another coffee shop of Starbucks opened in the Alabang area in Muntinlupa City very recently. Specifically, this is about the one that opened at the ground floor of One Griffinstone located along Commerce Avenue corner Spectrum Midway in Filinvest City.

Very recently, out of curiosity, I visited to take a close look.

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From inside facing Commerce Avenue.

Like the other new Starbucks coffee shops I visited recently, the One Griffinstone branch has a nice interior and more notably, it’s got views of the immediate surroundings.

When it comes to seating capacity, I counted fifty-one seats, including the stools. For the use of the common rest room, a code is required to be able to use it. The code is printed on the receipt of the Starbucks drink/food customers buy. If you need to use the toilet during your time at Starbucks One Griffinstone, do not throw away the receipt fast.

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The counter.
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Many places to sit and enjoy.

After receiving my drink, I sat down facing one side of the place looking at the Festival Mall in the distance. Then I realizing something…Commerce Avenue literally connects with four different Starbucks branches in Alabang.

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Facing the far end of Commerce Avenue heading towards the direction of Festival Mall (hidden by the trees).

Along Commerce Avenue (note: distances between the coffeeshops and the said road) are the Alabang Town Center branch, the One Griffinstone branch and Starbucks Reserve (part of Westgate) branch.

In a way, Commerce Avenue leads to the old Starbucks branch at Festival Mall. Coming from the direction of Ayala Alabang, one can drive to the said branch by reaching the end of the road entering the area of mall, turn right on a short road going to the open-air parking area (where the old Starbucks and Robinsons department store are).

Are these enough Starbucks branches in the Alabang area as a whole? That’s hard to figure out at this point in time but what is clear is that Alabang is a hot spot for the world’s largest coffee chain. Previously I visited another new Alabang branch of the coffee chain at Madison Galeries.

Check out and visit the Starbucks One Griffinstone branch if you have time.

My Observations: Fried Chicken Meal and Cajun Fries at Popeyes Alabang

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Popeyes restaurant at Alabang Town Center, specifically located right beside Krispy Kreme.

On July 19 at a commercial space (right beside Krispy Kreme and steps away from Fully Booked) at the area of Alabang Town Center in Muntinlupa City, the newest branch of Popeyes Philippines opened and right from the start it drew a long line of curious and hungry customers.

I personally witnessed many people waiting in line seated as many chairs were provided for their comfort. Once inside, they joined the line at the counters to make their orders and then wait to be served.

As there were so many people, I decided to skip the weekend and try one of Popeyes’ meals on a weekday. Fortunately, yesterday, I found an opportunity to visit the Popeyes ATC branch and the line outside was much shorter. When I sat in line, there were less than ten people ahead of me.

The wait on line at the counters inside the restaurant took longer. I noticed that the Popeyes personnel receiving orders had to answer the many questions asked by the customers who had their turns. During that time, I carefully examined the meals, side dishes and drinks displayed. By the time I got my chance to order at the counter, I quickly ordered a 2-piece fried chicken meal with single rice (and drink included) and their Cajun Fries.

So here is my meal.

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2-piece fried chicken with rice (still wrapped) and the Cajun Fries.

To make things clear, I did NOT use any condiments as I really wanted to determine if the food cooked by Popeyes were really tasty on their own.

When I started with the fried chicken, I opened the meat to see if it was well cooked. They did their job.

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The fried chicken cut open.

The result? For the fried chicken, they were tasty on their own. While Popeyes constantly emphasized their “Louisiana taste” a lot, I did not find the flavor of their fried chicken special. When it comes to taste, Popeyes fried chicken is tasty enough to enjoy without any condiments. However, if I may compare, I find the fried chicken of Mini-Stop (under their Uncle John’s sub-brand) clearly tastier than Popeyes. At the same time, I noticed Popeyes fried chicken pieces were slightly smaller compared to what was served at Mini-Stop, 7-Eleven, Jollibee, SNR and FamilyMart. Lastly, I noticed Popeyes’ fried chicken is not too greasy and that’s a good thing.

For what I paid (P167 or more than US$3), the 2-piece fried chicken meal at Popeyes Alabang was filling enough but it could have been better. If you want fried chicken meals that are more flavorful and more filling for less cost, you are better off with Mini-Stop, 7-Eleven and others.

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Popeyes Cajun Fries.

As for the Cajun Fries, they are tasty enough to be enjoyed without condiments. The texture and taste remind me somewhat of McDonald’s twisted fries I tasted long ago. In a way, the Cajun Fries are more enjoyable than the standalone fries of other fast food restaurants that need condiments to be flavorful. The medium-sized Cajun Fries cost me P57.

I don’t know when to return to Popeyes at ATC but if I revisit, perhaps I’ll try out one of their burger meals.


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: New Starbucks and the Village Food Fair at Madison Galeries

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Now open and serving customers at Madison Galeries!

Have you been to Madison Galeries lately in Alabang, Muntinlupa City?

For the newcomers reading this, Madison Galeries is a nice, open-air shopping mall located along Don Jesus Boulevard. It is located between Alabang Hills Village and the West Service Road.

During my recent stop at the mall, I visited, for the first time, the brand new Starbucks coffee shop at the ground floor which occupies the commercial space previously occupied by Manila’s Best Coffee plus even more space going inside.

The result? Starbucks Madison Galeries has LOTS of space where customers can come in, buy drinks or food, sit down comfortably and enjoy.

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A very spacious Starbucks at Madison Galeries.

After that, I went upstairs to check on the Village Food Fair which was a one-day event. There I looked around at the varied food and drinks prepared for customers. Shawarma, cakes, fruits, sodas, pies, snacks, fruit juices, sushi and maki, imported cheese, rice meals of chicken, beef, pork and fish, shakes and dessert were offered. Among the many vendors selling there, what caught my attention was one selling organic pasta (to be cooked).

Check out these pics I posted. Just click to enlarge.

I hope that the Village Food Fair will be held again at Madison Galeries.


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: Pasta and Pizza at NYSM Pizzeria

Apart from being a very long road named after the family that owns Banco Filipino, Aguirre Avenue inside BF Homes subdivision in Parañaque City is famous for being home to multiple types of businesses. Among those businesses are restaurants which easily attract both villagers and many outsiders to try out their meals, beverages and special stuff.

Recently my friends and I, on different times, got to visit an Italian restaurant along Aguirre Avenue called NYSM Pizzeria located at 262 Aguirre Avenue. Specifically the pizzeria is a short drive away from the Starbucks Phase 3 coffee shop and from a certain famous pizza restaurant.

The first time I visited NYSM Pizzeria was purely out of curiosity. After struggling with deciding what to pick from their menu, I ordered a pizza – the New England’s Best pizza.

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The small New England’s Best pizza.

Composed of ground beef, pepperoni, mushroom, onions, bell pepper and sausage, the New England’s Best pizza tasted great! It was well cooked and its crust has that peculiar texture. It feels much more filling than a thin-crust pizza and yet it’s not as thick as a pan pizza. It just feels right to chew on and be satisfied.

In further visits, this time with friends, we tried their other pizzas and more of their meals and appetizers.

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A slice of El Taco pizza.

The El Taco pizza pictured above truly lives up to its name as it almost perfectly captures the taste of the taco of Mexico. I like the way NYSM Pizzeria’s cook prepared the ingredients that gave it a very unique flavor for a pizza. I’ve tried other taco-inspired pizzas in other restaurants but NYSM Pizzeria’s El Taco really captured the Mexican flavor.

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A really fresh salad.
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Spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread!

NYSM Pizzeria also has a nice lineup of pasta. What stood out for me was their spaghetti served with meat balls and bread with garlic. For P300, it was both very tasty (note: condiments were not needed at all) and satisfying. I also liked the fact that the meat balls had a layer of melted cheese touching them.

Having tried at least three flavors of pizza, two of their pasta, their salad and a few appetizers, I can say that NYSM Pizzeria’s kitchen personnel really know how to prepare the meals and make them delicious and satisfying. I would not hesitate to return to their restaurant for more of their meals.

NYSM Pizzera’s interior, by the way, has an eye-catching New York-style subway train decoration with a door that leads into their bar (inside is a nice window facing Aguirre Avenue).  Check out the picture below.

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The “rusted” New York subway train decoration.

You must be wondering, “What does NYSM mean?”

It means: New York State of Mind. 

Check out NYSM Pizzeria inside BF Homes. For inquiries, call landline 576-0330.


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

 

 

 

Chachago BF Homes Branch at Noah’s Place Inaugurated and Serving Customers

There was an atmosphere of excitement, confidence and enjoyment at the ground floor of the commercial building Noah’s Place along Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City on the morning of Friday (June 7, 2019) as the newest branch of Chachago Philippines (stylized as Chachago 茶茶GO Philippines) had its grand opening complete with a ribbon cutting graced by the directors of the BF Parañaque Entrepreneurs & Business Club, Inc. (BFPE&BCI), some local community stakeholders and the City Government of Parañaque.

 

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The counter and the nice interior of Chachago BF Homes branch.

The ribbon cutting had notable guests such as Quezon Province Board Member Beth Sio, BFPE&BCI president Don Muñoz, Joseph Zamora, Parañaque City’s Social Services Office & Public Information Office OIC Mar Jimenez, Cathy Seguismundo (BDO), Frank Vida, Joseph Noy Patino, Erwin Sio (Chachago BF Homes owner), Aileen Muñoz, Jereny Uy (Chachago Philippines) and Valerie Sio (Chachago BF Homes owner).

What is Chachago? The company describes their was created to raise public awareness of quality beverages; not just on the ingredients but also educating individuals about the way of drinking tea. They added that the love for Taiwan’s food and milk tea was how their business came to be.

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From left to right were: Quezon Province Board Member Beth Sio, BFPE&BCI president Don Muñoz, Joseph Zamora, Parañaque City’s Social Services Office & Public Information Office OIC Mar Jimenez (holding scissor), Frank Vida, Joseph Noy Patino, Erwin Sio (Chachago BF Homes owner), Aileen Muñoz, Jereny Uy (Chachago Philippines) and Valerie Sio (Chachago BF Homes owner).

The place has a nice interior as well as WiFi. The seats are comfortable and there is a lot of space to accommodate families or groups of friends. The place looks also ideal for people who enjoy drinking indoors while spending time browsing on their smartphones or doing work with their laptops. I enjoyed my fresh orange drink as I sat in comfort talking with Mar Jimenez (who represented Mayor Edwin Olivarez), BFPE&BCI president Don Muñoz and vice president Frank Vida.

Chachago has a nice selection of beverages to suit the tastes of customers. I noticed that the large-sized drinks really come with a lot of content and the guests who availed of it clearly enjoyed them.

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Fruit tea, milk tea, lattes, ice cream special, food and more!
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Customers at the other part of the branch. There are even more tables and seats outside (partially seen here). There is also free WiFi.
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Parañaque City’s Social Services Office & Public Information Office OIC Mar Jimenez and BFPE&BCI president Don Muñoz.

To get some insight about the business, I approached Chachago BF Homes branch co-owner Erwin Sio for his opinion and the local community. His wife Val is the other owner.

“Whenever we’re in the south, BF Homes has always been our go to place for food, for its wide selection of restaurants. However our nights usually end early, because after dinner, there are a limited milk tea places to hang out at,” said Erwin Sio, “We want Chachago BF Homes to be a place where friends and families meet and hang out as they enjoy their delicious milk teas.”

Sio added that milk tea places are normally small that only provide customers ample room to buy their drinks, then leave to make way for other customers. He and his wife came up with the idea of establishing a place where people could really hang out. When the ground floor space of Noah’s Place became available, the Sio business couple immediately grabbed it and led to establishing the BF Homes branch of Chachago Philippines.

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Chachago beverages that customers can choose from.

If you are looking for milk tea or other special beverages within BF Homes subdivision, there is Chachago at Noah’s Place along Aguirre Avenue.


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