The City Government of Las Piñas announced that Mayor Imelda T. Aguilar confirmed her commitment to rid Zapote-Alabang Road and secondary roads of any obstruction to ensure safety and ease traffic as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) rated the city with high compliance in road clearing operations.
The Mayor ad her daughter Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery, on Monday again called on members of Task Force (TF) Kaayusan, barangay officials, and homeowners’ associations to sustain the gains of the clearing operations.
The mayor cited the improved flow of traffic along Zapote-Alabang Road which is the city’s main thoroughfare, as well as removal of sidewalk vendors and demolition of overlapping structures, including the unfinished excavations by various service utilities.
“These obstructions must be permanently out from our main thoroughfare and the inner roads since the sidewalks are for the pedestrians and the roads to motorists,” Mayor Aguilar said.
Even before the announcement of the DILG directive, Task Force Kaayusan was already convened by the Mayor in July shortly after her re-election. The task force, composed of the Estate Management and Development Office, City Engineering Office and the local Philippine National Police, being spearheaded by the Mayor’s Office conducted clearing operations to address concerns on traffic and road hazards.
She also ordered the traffic enforcers to strictly implement City Ordinance No. 577-02, which prohibits all forms of traffic violation and obstructions along the roads and sidewalks.
The DILG last Friday posted on its website the evaluation and assessment report on compliance of Metro Manila cities and municipalities to its Circular 121 based on the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte during his State of the Nation Address last July. Las Piñas was among the twelve Metro local government units which got a high performance rating, meaning with 91% to 100% cleared roads and sidewalks.
In a Philippine Star report, the city, along with Valenzuela City, Navotas City, Marikina City, San Juan City, Makati City, Taguig City, Muntinlupa City and Pateros, received a perfect compliance score from the DILG. Indicators on determining compliance include ordinances issued, use of a road inventory plan, displacement strategies, rehabilitation efforts and direct on-ground clearing operations. In that same report, it is notable that Las Piñas and Muntinlupa are the only South Metro Manila cities that got listed with achieving perfect compliance scores.
Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi receives a plaque of recognition from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) chairman George Barcelon during the Final Judging of the business group’s Most Business-Friendly LGU Awards. (contributed by Muntinlupa City PIO)
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi and his team attended the final judging. They presented the innovations made on ease of doing business including streamlining business processes through the establishment of the Single-Window Transaction and assistance to MSME (micro-small-medium enterprises) through a zero-percent interest loan assistance, among others.
Last year, Muntinlupa was hailed (for the 2nd straight year) the Most Business Friendly LGU award during the 44th Philippine Business Conference. Back then, Muntinlupa bested other finalists in four pillars which include: Fast-tracking Sustainable Local Economic Development, Improvement of Ease of Doing Business (EODB), Investment Promotion Initiatives, and Initiatives to Enhance Industry/ Sectoral Competitiveness.
Now that Muntinlupa made the finals again, the suspense now begins for which city will be hailed as this year’s Most Business-Friendly LGU. The 45th Philippine Business Conference & Expo will take place on October 16 and 17 at the Manila Hotel.
Since the start of the construction of the Skyway extension project on the evening of September 24, traffic got worse on the northbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). The result? The construction – which resulted eating up road space – made traffic more congested than before. As I drove on the way to the office in Laguna on September 25, I saw many vehicles (heading north) jammed together tightly from the Alabang viaduct up to around twenty kilometers going south in the jurisdiction of Laguna.
And then I later experienced the hardship of being in the traffic jam going back to Alabang that same day. The trip home took an additional one hour and twenty minutes for me.
The next day, it took me more than an hour again to reach Alabang from Laguna going home. Only this time, I took the exit to go to the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX), turned to Daang Hari and go to Alabang. On the other side of the SLEX, motorists traveling north took the exit going to the National Road of Muntinlupa. National Road is composed of only four lanes, take note.
As the Skyway operator confirmed that the project construction will last until late 2020, we the motorists have no choice but to accept the new reality that the worsened traffic will be the new normal along the SLEX.
The City Government of Muntinlupa noticed this problem. The construction also affected the East service road’s traffic which caused inconvenience to the businesses and residents who often travel there.
This is why today (September 30), the City Government formally announced the implementation of a one-way traffic scheme at the East service road no later than October 13. The purpose of this new move is to address, and hopefully ease, the heavy traffic motorists are experiencing.
Already a consultation was organized by Traffic Management Bureau chief Danidon Nolasco with representatives from San Miguel Corporation Tollways, EEI, transport groups, and subdivisions and companies situated the East service road.
Nolasco said SMC Tollways anticipate at least 14 weeks to finish the construction of the extension project with the currently imposed stop-and-go traffic scheme. He added that construction period will be reduced by half if a one-way traffic scheme will be enforced.
Motorists are advised that a northbound one-way traffic route will be implemented at the East service road from Alabang viaduct going to Sucat Interchange on or before October 13. While, the West service road and Baybayin will remain two-way in traffic as usual.
The representatives of the business establishments located in the area agreed to the new rerouting plan and requested that the new traffic scheme to be disseminated and implemented immediately.
As for the Skyway extension project along the East service road, EEI Project Manager Joe Ilagan said at least forty-one columns will be erected and the project’s bored piles and columns will be situated in between the service road and expressway. This is why road space is reduced resulting worse traffic on both the service road and the northbound lane of the SLEX.
The elevated toll road extension project from Sucat skyway off-ramp to Soldiers Hills, Muntinlupa is expected to be completed by December 2020.
Until that project is completed and traffic relief is realized, we motorists really have to adjust ourselves and be more patient using the SLEX. Heavy traffic obviously costs the nation’s economy (and us, the people) a lot of money and time. Imagine all the appointments, all the planned flights, all the opportunities get lost because SLEX northbound traffic prevented people from reaching their respective destination.
As the Christmas season approaches, vehicular traffic will get even worse due to the anticipated rise in business transactions related to Christmas-related spending. Take for example, the many commercial joints here in South Metro Manila. People will go out to the shopping malls (in Parañaque, Muntinlupa and Las Piñas), the bazaars and in BF Homes to buy items for gift-giving. Trucks will be going around to deliver food (example: catering), hardware and other ordered products.
Better start getting used to the new normal along SLEX. Plan your moves ahead of time as well.
Specifically, Senator Go presented Senate Bill Number 391 (SB 391) otherwise titled the Magna Carta for Barangays. He stated that there is a lack of regular salaries for barangay officials who have a lot of duties and responsibilities in their respective communities. This prompted him to make better compensation and benefits a reality for them.
If SB 391 ever gets approved, the head of the barangay (captain/chairperson), the barangay kagawads (the barangay council), the Sangguniang Kabataan head (SK chairperson), the barangay secretary and the barangay treasurer will be entitled to salaries, emoluments, allowances (example: transportation allowance), the 13th month pay and other benefits.
“It’s a relief to us in terms of benefits,” Barangay BF Homes captain Marquez said to me. “However, they first must look into amending the local government code in general since some important provisions are quite outdated already in terms of barangay administration and governance in general.”
For BFSK chairperson Mariel Tumang, Go’s move was good news not only for her but for many others in the barangay. Whether SB 391 will pass or not, she confirmed to me that she and the SK kagawads will focus on organizing and accomplishing projects and activities not only this year but also next year. Public service fulfillment is the priority for Tumang and the BFSK. In recent times, the BFSK organized the local Linggo ng Kabataan event as well as a seminar.
Going back to the Philippine Senate, SB 391 outlines the basic priorities in each barangay that include regular supply of clean/potable water, public transportation availability, barangay halls, etc.
If anything comes up regarding this development, it will be posted here.
On August 6, Department of Health (DOH) secretary Francisco Duque II declared a National Dengue Epidemic in relation to the 146,062 cases recorded (January to July 20) this year here in the Philippines.
Duque revealed that the reported cases are almost 100% higher than compared to the same period in 2018. The total number of deaths recorded this year is now at 622.
The declaration was the result of a full council meeting at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) that took place at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
In South Metro Manila, the City Government of Las Piñas responded to the declaration by informing their constituents to be prepared and vigilant of dengue. Mayor Imelda Aguilar and her daughter Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery called on all city residents to be careful and strive to clean up their homes and spots of their local areas. The City Government confirmed that all health centers around the city have dengue testing kits and the testing itself will be done for free.
Now that a national dengue crisis has been confirmed, now is the time for people living and working here in the Philippines to find not only the most effective methods to protect themselves from the disease but also to help cure the people already suffering from it.
To put things in perspective, the term dengue refers to both the virus and the fever. Dengue virus is a mosquito-borne, single positive-stranded RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae; genus Flavivirus.
Dengue fever is a harsh condition that includes symptoms of high fever, vomiting, pains on the muscle and joints, headache, pain behind the eyes, fatigue and skin rash. The time it takes for a sufferer to recover from it is two to seven days. However, there have been a small number of cases in which dengue fever becomes severe (referred to as dengue hemorrhagic fever). The symptoms for severe dengue include low blood platelets, bleeding and blood plasma leakage. There is also dengue shock syndrome which includes low blood pressure.
How to cure dengue? A scientist I met in Makati City told me it was papaya leaf juice.
For the newcomers reading this, the use of papaya leaf juice in treating dengue is not new. Rather it has been used for a long time in some areas of India and Southeast Asia. As dengue continues to spread and affect new victims around the world, it is expected that papaya leaf juice will grow in terms of demand.
To put things perspective, let’s start with the health benefits that papaya leaves carry. The leaf of the papaya contains a large amount of enzymes that include papain and chymopapain. These aid digestion and prevent bloating as well as digestive disorders. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, papaya leaves are rich in vitamins A, C, E, K and B while the specific minerals are iron, sodium magnesium, calcium and magnesium. The papaya leaf juice also comes with a compound that help with blood clotting and restricting internal bleeding.
Dr. Sheela Krishnaswamy, a nutritionist based in Bangalore, stated that certain studies “have shown that papaya leaf juice contributes significantly in the production of platelets.”
According to Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, 30 ml of fresh papaya leaf juice helps in increasing the blood platelet count which is crucial in treating dengue.
A team of chemical engineers in the Food and Pharmaceutical Engineering Group at the university are working on extracting carpaine (a bioactive compound) for use in the form of a pill. Because dengue is a huge health problem as the Aedes mosquito population grows, Associate Professor Dr. Ching Lik Hii (who leads the research at UNMC) got inspired to come up with methods to make the herbal remedy easier to process and consume.
Even as there are skeptics about papaya leaf juice as a cure for dengue, the confirmed results so far showed signs of effectiveness on the blood platelet count which itself is an important indicator on the patient’s health status while suffering dengue fever. In addition, papaya leaves
For the meantime, it would be helpful to convince local authorities (especially those who work in health and in government) to at least take a look at research of papaya leaf juice as an option for curing dengue. It is also timely right now that we should examine our nation’s harvest of the papaya trees with stronger focus on growing the leaves.
Do you see a papaya tree near you? Do NOT burn it and do NOT cut it down. Its leaves can be crucial to helping your nation deal with the ongoing dengue crisis. If you know someone who is suffering from dengue fever, then it is crucial to buy many papaya leaves and convert them into liquid form for drinking!
As the Philippines has a dengue crisis to deal, now is the time to contact your barangay (community government) officials, the city government officials, the provincial government officials (for those living in the provinces), the members of the House of Representatives and the Senators to encourage them to explore (if not utilize) papaya leaf juice as an option to treat dengue sufferers.
Muntinlupa City Government Praised for Business Friendliness
During a consultation meeting and presentation of local medium and long-term development plans held at Vivere Hotel, Filinvest City, Alabang in Muntinlupa City, the members of the business community lauded the local initiatives of City Government of Muntinlupa.
IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines Executive Director for External Affairs and Investor Relations Nicki Agcaoili praised Muntinlupa LGU for facilitating a “business-friendly environment” in the city.
“Among other LGUs in the region, Muntinlupa City is the easiest to transact with,” Agcaoili said during the July 12 event.
Agcaoili also noted how they have achieved and exceeded targets after locating in the city.
Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi expressed his thanks to business executives who attended the consultation meeting and vowed to strengthen partnership with them. This was affirmed by City Councilor Raul Corro who expressed the City Council’s commitment to address the business sector’s needs through local legislation.
For their part, City Government officials presented the projects to be implemented over next three years. Private sector execs expressed their feedback in a focus group discussion.
The consultation meeting was facilitated by the Business Permits and Licensing Office and the Local Economic and Investments Promotions Office.
In 2017 and 2018, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry hailed Muntinlupa City as the Most Business-Friendly LGU in the country. This established the city as the standout city for business in South Metro Manila.
A pioneer in the EODB Act, the City of Muntinlupa is the first local government unit (LGU) to introduce the Single Window Transaction – Modified Business One-Stop Shop, a single-interface business-registration process in which a business permit registration application can be finished in up to 15 minutes only.
MSME development is also a priority in the city through the Tulong Negosyo program (formerly Dagdag Puhunan program) which offers zero-percent interest loan assistance from 2,000 to 150,000 pesos.
On top of financial assistance, the local government provides coaching and mentoring sessions to budding entrepreneurs which include business legal management, accounting for non-accountants, and financial management, among others.
The City Government organizes business forums to determine the business sector’s inputs and feedback on development agendas. This in turn helps the City Government address their needs.
Las Piñas City Government signs deal with Perpetual Help Medical Center for Green Card program
Las Piñas City hospitalization through the Green Card Program could now be availed at the Perpetual Help Medical Center of Las Piñas according Mayor Imelda T. Aguilar and Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery.
The Perpetual Help Medical Center-Las Piñas is the latest medical facility to accredit the Green Card Program of the City Government, in addition to Las Piñas Doctor’s Hospital, San Juan de Dios Hospital, Philippine General Hospital, and Las Piñas City Medical Center.
“We are happy to announce that we have another partner in providing hospitalization benefits to our Las Piñeros, the Perpetual Help Medical Center, as we continue to explore ways to deliver enhanced service to our kababayans,” Mayor Aguilar said.
Green Card holders among the city residents could avail of the free hospitalization services worth P30,000 per patient who would be confined at any of the accredited hospitals.
The Green Card is the hospitalization support program managed by the Mayor’s Office, City Health Office, and City Social Welfare and Development Office. It has now around 200,000 Green Card holders.
The free hospitalization program was initiated by former Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar in 2000 with about 10,000 Green Card holders, including city hall employees, which was accredited at Las Piñas Doctor’s Hospital and San Juan De Dios Hospital. The number of household beneficiaries has been expanded and in nearly 20 years the program signed up with five accredited hospitals to cater to the medical needs of the Las Piñeros.
For details about the City Government’s Green Card program, click here.