March 1, 2021 a special holiday in Muntinlupa City

The City Government of Muntinlupa announced yesterday that March 1, 2021 (Monday) is a special non-working holiday in the city in accordance to Republic Act Number 9191 (RA 9191).

Formally approved on February 2003 by then Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, RA 9191 is titled “An Act Declaring the First Day of March of Every Year as a Special Nonworking Holiday in the City of Muntinlupa to be Known as The Muntinlupa City Charter Day.”

Apart from the said Republic Act, March 1 itself is a very notable date in the history of Muntinlupa. It was on March 1, 1995 when Muntinlupa formally became a highly urbanized city of the Philippines as a result of the approval of Republic Act Number 7926 (title: An Act Converting the Municipality of Muntinlupa into a Highly Urbanized City to be Known as the City of Muntinlupa). RA 7926 was signed into law by then President Fidel V. Ramos.

In addition, below are some selected sections of RA 7926 for everyone’s reference.

Section 3 (The City of Muntinlupa) states: The Municipality of Muntinlupa shall be converted into a highly urbanized city to be known as the City of Muntinlupa, hereinafter referred to as the City, which shall comprise the present territory of the Municipality of Muntinlupa in Metropolitan Manila Area, over which it has jurisdiction, bounded by the municipalities of Taguig, Parañaque, Las Piñas, all of Metro Manila and the Municipality of San Pedro, Laguna.

Section 8 (The Officials of the City of Muntinlupa) states: (a) There shall be in the City of Muntinlupa a city mayor, a vice-mayor, sangguniang panlungsod members, a secretary to the sangguniang panlungsod, a city treasurer and an assistant city treasurer, a city assessor and an assistant city assessor, a city accountant, a city budget officer, a city planning and development coordinator, a city engineer and building official, a city health officer, a city civil registrar, a city administrator, a city legal officer, a city veterinarian, a city social welfare and development officer, a city general services officer, a city information officer, and a city prosecutor.

(b)    In addition thereto, the city mayor may point a city architect, a city population officer, a city environment and natural resources officer, a city cooperatives officer, a city international relations officer, a city fire marshall, a city international relations officer, a city fire marshall, a city jail warden, a city register of deeds, and a city land transportation officer.

(c)    The City of Muntinlupa may:

(1)    Maintain existing offices not mentioned in subsections (a) and (b) hereof;

(2)    Create such other offices as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the City; or

(3)    Consolidate the functions of any office with those of another in the interest of efficiency and economy.

(d)    Unless otherwise provided herein, all appointive city officials of the City shall be appointed by the city mayor with the concurrence of the majority of all the sangguniang panlungsod members, subject to the civil service law, rules and regulations.  The sangguniang panlungsod shall act on the appointment within fifteen (15) days from the date of its admission, otherwise the same shall be deemed confirmed.

Section 62 (Legislative Districts) states: The creation for separate districts for Muntinlupa and Las Piñas and the first election for the two (2) legislative districts shall be made effective in 1998.

With the creation of the City of Muntinlupa, the congressional district for purposes of the 1995 elections shall remain the same.

Enjoy the holiday in Muntinlupa next week.

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Taking a Vacation? Beware of Scammers and Non-Accredited Travel Businesses

It sure is nice to go out on holiday so that you can enjoy something nice and relieve yourself of the stress you accumulated from regular work.

But what if your hard-earned money goes to waste or, even worse, gets stolen by someone with criminal intentions?

Yesterday the Department of Tourism (DOT) here in the Philippines warned the public about making transactions with non-accredited entities engaged in travel and tours, airline ticketing and other travel businesses.

This was in response to reports they received about the proliferation of the non-accredited entities that posted advertisements on the different social media platforms or airline ticketing, travel and tours arrangement, hotel booking, and training offerings for travel business management.

“The public is hereby warned to be vigilant in dealing with these entities as there can be no guarantee on the reliability and legitimacy of their products and services,” the DOT said in its statement.

This development by the DOT is timely. Just days ago, there was this TV news report about a lady who got victimized by another lady who turned out to be a fake travel agent.

She paid a lot of money to the scammer for a Hong Kong vacation with her kids. As the scammer contacted her telling her to deposit thousands of pesos more for the vacation due to a “price increase”. The victim became suspicious and she went to the local authorities. Afterwards a personal meeting between the two happened in Las Pinas City and eventually the scammer got arrested.

You can watch the Tagalog language TV news video below.

Going back to the Department of Tourism, they said there are only select training centers that accredited to offer courses on putting up travel agencies and other tourism-related services. All travel agencies/ tour operators, including online bookings, are covered under the DOT Accreditation Law requiring accreditation before issuance of business permits, it stressed.

The DOT stated that entities with valid and existing accreditation with them have informative websites and/or online pages bearing the DOT’s Quality Seal and their corresponding Accreditation Number with validity.

For a complete list of DOT-accredited enterprises, the public are encouraged to visit the DOT’s website.

The lesson here is that you should not allow yourself to be fooled and tempted by those attractive holiday ads on social media as well as those transmitted via email or snail mail.

Always ask yourself if the seller is accredited by the DOT. Don’t forget to do a background check on the travel package and services seller.

Remember to be cautious and analyze the situation carefully before you proceed to book a vacation or avail any travel-related service. There are lots of scammers online and they are already making things hard not only for customers but also for the legitimate travel businesses.