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.

 

 

New Skyway Ramp to Open on December 1

Hi everyone! Have you been struggling with the constant heavy traffic along the northbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) since September due to the construction of a Skyway extension project (planned to reach Susana Heights) within the Alabang viaduct area?

Well here are the good news: effective December 1, 2019, the third lane of the at-grade level of the Skyway will be re-opened and the brand new, two-lane ramp connecting the Alabang viaduct to the elevated Skyway will be opened to the public!

The anticipated developments should result an improvement of the flow of traffic going north.

“These enhancements will ensure that there will be five lanes available to northbound SLEX vehicles during rush hours, even as we go full blast with the construction of the Skyway Extension project. Motorists will be able to use the original three lanes at the at-grade section, plus 2 more lanes at the elevated section,” San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said according to the press release.

Due to the construction of the new ramp started this past September, traffic worsened as road space was reduced. What used to be five lanes on the northbound direction of the SLEX at the Alabang viaduct was narrowed down to three lanes. The City Government of Muntinlupa itself implemented a one-way traffic scheme along the east service road in connection to the construction.

Skyway managers made the hard adjustments by reconfiguring and maximizing the first section of the elevated Skyway coming from the Alabang-Zapote road to three lanes, from the original two.

The operators stated that with the new ramp connecting to the elevated section, northbound traffic from SLEX can be accommodated without significantly impacting traffic coming from the Alabang-Zapote road.

It was pointed out that the original design for the Alabang-Zapote road Skyway ramp, built by the previous concessionaire, is one lane northbound and one lane southbound. At certain times in the morning, when traffic is heaviest, both lanes are used for northbound traffic.

As such, they emphasized that the advantage of the new three-lane configuration at the start of the elevated portion is that lane assignments can be easily adjusted depending on traffic volume. Even with the new ramp in effect, motorists coming from the Alabang-Zapote road will retain the use of one to two lanes, depending on traffic volume.

With regards to night-time southbound traffic, which normally gets heavy, more or all lanes—including the two lanes on the new ramp–can be assigned for southbound use.

To put things in perspective, the Skyway Extension project is an initiative by SMC worth P10 billion designed to extend the Skyway from Alabang to SLEX near  Susana Heights and the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX). Completion of the whole project is set for December 2020. By then , there should be three additional northbound lanes and two southbound lanes on either side of the existing SLEX. It will allow both northbound and southbound motorists to bypass the Alabang viaduct.

This is welcome news and there should be relief starting Sunday (December 1).

In my personal experience, I work at an office in Calamba, Laguna and since September 25, traveling back to Alabang became more challenging due to the increased traffic congestion. Many times, the tail-end of the traffic jam going north along SLEX reached the Susana Heights area. Some times, the tail-end was at the Southwoods exit.

We will soon find out starting Monday how the promised benefits of the new Skyway ramp will improve the northbound flow of vehicles.


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

Las Piñas Traffic Enforcers Retrained, Friendship Route Hours Set for Extension

The City Government of Las Piñas announced that all traffic enforcers recently completed a two-day retraining seminar on discipline and proper conduct and behavior in the performance of their duties. The retraining was meant to help them effectively perform the strict implementation of traffic rules and regulations.

The retraining sessions conducted focused on lectures and there was also a workshop aimed to enhance competence and professionalism among the city traffic enforcers, particularly on decorum in the apprehension, issuance of citation tickets, and proper hand signal in manning the road.

The refresher course for the city’s one hundred and eighty traffic enforcers was ordered by Mayor Imelda T. Aguilar which was issued to the City Traffic Management Office (CTMO), in coordination with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Mayor Aguilar expressed hope that the retraining would enlighten the city traffic enforcers of their duties and responsibilities in properly dealing with motorists and the commuters. She warned, however, that they would face the full force of the law if they fail to perform their responsibilities.

“Traffic enforcer officials must abide with the traffic laws as mandated, and conduct proper behavior in dealing with the motorists to ensure the safety of commuters, car owners and the riding public,” Mayor Aguilar stated.

The mayor, who added law enforcement agencies, believes that traffic enforcement, in addition to reducing fatalities associated with automobile collisions, might also reduce the incidence of public order crimes.

“There are some proof that the presence of traffic enforcement officers may reduce certain types of crime, assure road safety thereby improving the quality of life for residents,” Aguilar added.

New Friendship Route Hours Starting December 1

With the Christmas season approaching, Mayor Aguilar announced the extension of the number of hours the Friendship Route may be used with the intention of decongesting the major roads of the city.

Effective December 1, 2019, the Friendship Route will be open to motorists from 4AM up to 12 midnight. The planned adjustment will last until January 6, 2020.

For the newcomers reading this, the Friendship Route of Las Piñas City is composed of alternate roadways to ease congestion in the major and secondary roads. The Friendship Route City Ordinance contains a complete list of the roads. Photocopies of the said ordinance can be made at City Hall.

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.

20191029_130543.jpg

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).

20191029_130543.jpg

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

Las Piñas City Provides FREE Initial parking for Senior Citizens and PWDs (Persons With Disability)

Las Piñas City Provides FREE Initial Parking for Senior Citizens and PWDs (Persons With Disability)

The City Government of Las Piñas announced today that starting December 1, 2019, senior citizens and persons with disability (PWDs) will be exempted from paying parking fees on the first three hours in all business establishments and offices within the city’s jurisdiction as a result of a new ordinance that was approved.

City Ordinance No. 1623-19, otherwise called the “Senior Citizens and Persons with Disability (PWDs) Free Initial Rate Parking Fee Ordinance of 2019,” as proposed by Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery grants the privilege to the elderly and PWDs who are either driving or on board the vehicle that will park in any commercial or pay parking areas.

“This is one way of providing social services to our senior citizens and PWDs because their welfare is one of our priorities,” Vice Mayor Aguilar-Nery said.

She also acknowledged the cooperation and support of the city’s business establishments in granting the exemption to the senior citizens and PWDs of Las Piñas.                            

The exemption covers the first three hours of the prescribed parking fee, while  the corresponding rate shall be imposed for the succeeding hour. But no charges shall be collected in the case of flat rate policy provided it does not exceed four hours.

Parking booth attendants or cashiers who may be found violating the ordinance shall be meted penalties ranging from P1,000 to P3,000 with 30 days to a maximum of six (6) months imprisonment, depending on the discretion of the court.

Mayor Imelda Aguilar welcomed the passing of the ordinance by the City Council. She said that “the ordinance will contribute to the Tuloy-tuloy na Serbisyo Program of her administration in promoting the welfare of the senior citizens and the PWDs of Las Piñas.

The City of Las Piñas has more than 80,000 registered senior citizens and 15,200 PWDs who are enjoined to avail of the privilege and other benefits as mandated by Republic Act No. 7432, known as the Senior Citizens Act of 1995.

Muntinlupa City is among 2019 Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) awardees

Muntinlupa City is among 2019 Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) awardees

Today the City Government of Muntinlupa announced that they have been feted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) as one of the 2019 Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) awardees for its excellent delivery of public service. This latest development continues to show why Muntinlupa is a standout city among South Metro Manila’s cities.

MuntiSGLG2K19
DILG Sec. Eduardo Año turns-over the 2019 Seal of Good Local Governance award to Mayor Jaime Fresnedi during an awarding ceremony at Manila Hotel last November 4. SGLG is the DILG’s progressive assessment and reward system that gives LGUs distinction for their remarkable performance across various assessment areas in governance. Also attending the program were Muntinlupa City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela and DILG Muntinlupa Field Office chief Bernadette Ferino. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

The prestigious SGLG award was received by Mayor Jaime Fresnedi from DILG Sec. Eduardo Año during the awarding ceremony held at the Manila Hotel yesterday. With the mayor were City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela and DILG Muntinlupa Field Office chief Bernadette Ferino.

Despite having a more stringent assessment criteria for the award, the City of Muntinlupa has passed “all-in” seven assessment areas in governance namely: Financial Administration; Disaster Preparedness; Social Protection; Peace and Order; Business Friendliness and Competitiveness; Environmental Protection; and Tourism Culture and the Arts.

To put things in perspective, Muntinlupa City was among the three hundred and eighty local government units (LGU) in the country conferred with the coveted award in governance. In the National Capital Region or NCR, only eight LGUs received this year’s Seal including the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Navotas, Pasay, Quezon City, and San Juan.

Fresnedi thanked the DILG for its recognition of Muntinlupa’s commitment in improving local administration and service delivery for Muntinlupeños.

“We are honored to receive this award as it validates our efforts towards local governance reforms and development. This recognition is an outcome of the collective efforts of dedicated city officials and employees who tirelessly worked in facilitating a transparent, caring, and accountable government for the people,” the mayor said.

As an incentive, 2019 SGLG recipients are set to receive Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) to finance local development projects and capacity development assistance from the DILG.

To be clear, SGLG is the DILG’s progressive assessment and reward system that gives LGUs distinction for their remarkable performance across various pillars. This year’s award is the second SGLG award conferred to Muntinlupa City after receiving the same recognition in 2015.

Furthermore, Muntinlupa City was also awarded with three major awards from the Department of Health (DOH) last November 4 at the Metro Manila Center for Health Development’s “Gabi ng Parangal” held in Crowne Plaza Manila.

The DOH conferred the City Government with Best in Rabies Prevention and Control Program, Best in National Voluntary Blood Services Program, and Plaque of Appreciation for the implementation of the Universal Health Care.

Previously, Muntinlupa became the only South Metro Manila city to make the Top 10 of the Most Competitive Highly Urbanized Cities when the results of the 2019 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) were revealed.

Parañaque City Government officials silent

More about the NCR city governments and the DILG’s organizing of the 2019 Seal of Good Local Governance awards, I reached out to my contacts at the City Government of Parañaque and asked what was their reaction about their city NOT receiving the prestigious SGLG award. They did not reply at all today.

Those same Parañaque City officials did not reply to my previous inquiry regarding their city’s failure to make the Top 10 of the Most Competitive Highly Urbanized Cities of the entire Philippines as per the results of the 2019 CMCI.

I guess it’s more comfortable for them to remain silent than answering tough questions about competition with other city governments. Now I’ve got to check with one other South Metro Manila city regarding the SGLG awards.