Las Piñas City Issues Green Card

Las Piñas City Issues Green Card

Las Piñas City Mayor Imelda T. Aguilar announced that the City Government has issued their Green Card which is now accredited at the Las Piñas City Medical Center (CityMed). Holders of the said card may use it in case of confinement at the mentioned hospital.

CityMed is the newest hospital where the Las Piñas City Green Card may be used. It is located along Marcos Alvarez Ave. Barangay Talon Singko, Las Piñas City. The other hospitals where Green Card is accredited are Las Piñas Doctors Hospital (LPDH), Philippine General Hospital (PGH), and San Juan De Dios Hospital. These hospitals have coordinators to help facilitate the confinement of the card holder. There is a special ward dedicated to patients who have Green Card in LPDH and CityMed.

 “The additional hospital accreditation of the Green Card will provide more options and convenience to Las Piñeros when seeking medical help,” Mayor Aguilar said.

Green Card is the hospitalization support program of the city government of Las Piñas; it subsidizes up to P30,000 of the total hospital bill of the confined patient. Every member of the family when hospitalized is entitled to the subsidy.

Presently, there are 200,000 Green card users. The Green Card project is being managed by the Mayor’s Office and the City Social Welfare and Development Office. It may be availed by all bonafide Las Piñas residents.  

According to Mayor Aguilar, “we are in the process of negotiating with more hospitals in Las Piñas for the expansion of Green Card accreditation.” 

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My Observations: Las Piñas Is Modernizing Public Transportation With Electric Tricycles (E-Trikes)

In recent times the City Government of Las Piñas headed by its Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar has been making a lot of progress with modernizing public transportation within its jurisdiction by releasing to local tricycle drivers and operators electric tricycle (e-trike) units that they received from the Department of Energy (DOE).

The DOE donated 100 e-trikes to Las Piñas which in turn coordinated with the varied tricycle operators from the city’s twenty barangays. On April 5, 2019, the City Government’s Facebook page posted pictures of its most recent turnover of e-trikes to specific operators. Posted below is one of them.

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Las Piñas City Government officials with the recipients in a turnover ceremony at City Hall. (photo by Shawnette Ramos for City of Las Piñas Facebook page)

Right below is a picture of electric tricycle units that I photographed during my visit at Las Piñas City Hall.

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From my visit at Las Piñas City Hall.

The future of local public transportation in the city is looking bright. Once these electric tricycles go into full operation, the following is expected to happen:

  1. A more comfortable ride for passengers thanks to the new tricycle design. The e-trike is one whole unit (versus the motorcycle linked with a passenger-carrying unit of the old tricycle design).
  2. Reduction on noise pollution because there is no fuel-based engine.
  3. Reduction on air pollution because there is no fuel-based engine and no exhaust.
  4. Complete avoidance on spending money on fuel which by the liter, as of this writing, is expensive. Recharging, not refueling, is the way for E-Trike operators to recover and keep operating the next day.

Think about it carefully. E-Trikes can bring passengers through the quiet villages more safely, quieter and without adding anymore air pollution that would affect families at their homes.

Now that the benefits of E-Trikes have been discussed, it’s time to take a close look as to how these positive developments in Las Piñas happened in the first place.

The answer is City Ordinance Number 1536-18 (Series of 2018). and below is a summary of the details written on it.

The Ordinance

Formally titled “An Ordinance Allowing The Operation of E-Trike in The City of Las Pinas and Providing Guideliness Thereto.”, with “E-Trike Ordinance” as the shorter title, City Ordinance Number 1536-18 (Series of 2018) was approved by the City Council and Mayor Aguilar on May 28, 2018. As written on the Ordinance, it was deemed that the adoption of the e-trike project is a necessary step in combating unreasonable high oil prices and ending dependency on oil. The E-Trike was viewed to be eco-friendly, noise-free and air pollution-free. It has the potential to generate higher income for operators and even create new jobs.

Section 2 of the Ordinance states: The City of Las Pinas fully supports the national government’s e-tricle project. It is also committed in enforcing the applicable provisions of the Clean Air Act and in addressing community concerns about high oil prices, pollution and health hazard as well as in providing new job opportunities.

Section 4 (E-trike Franchise Grant) legalizes the use of electric tricycles within the territorial jurisdiction of the city. For this purpose, one hundred units of three-wheeled electric power driven vehicle or e-trike shall be granted franchise by the City of Las Pinas through the Sangguniang Panglunsod.

Section 5 (Guidelines) states that no e-trike franchise shall be granted unless the unit utilizes environmental-friendly batteries as determined by the Environment and Natural Resources Office, has an on-board charger and is deemed roadworthy while also possessing the required safety features.

The individual applicant is an actual resident and registered voter of the city. The transport cooperative may be granted in its name up to five franchises subject to compliance with the qualification requirements of the drivers.

For E-Trike Rent-To-Own Program or variations thereof and/or meanwhile that the ownership of the unit is not yet fully transferred to the intended buyer, a provisional franchise may be granted in favor of the proponent. Provided, that the qualification requirements of the intended buyers or drivers of the vehicle are complied with.

Section 6 (Parts Availability) – the proponent shall make available within the city such parts as may be needed for the continued operation of the E-Trike.

Section 7 (Charging Stations) – charging stations shall be established in strategic public places in the city. For the total franchises herein fixed, no less than two charging stations shall be required of the proponents to establish. In this regard, not all contemplated franchises shall be issued by the Sangguniang Panglunsod unless the establishment of the charging stations is assured or completed.

Section 8 (Incentives) – Franchisees shall be granted a 50% discount on all fees applicable to trimobiles specifically the franchise fee, the annual supervision fee, the mayor’s permit fee, the legal research fee, the sticker fee and the police inspection fee.

If you wish to obtain copies of the Ordinance, visit City Hall.

Conclusion

With the E-Trike Ordinance in full force, Las Piñas City is clearly on its way forward with modernizing public transportation within its jurisdiction using electric tricycles which serve passengers traveling between the important city roads and the villages.

As far as South Metro Manila is concerned, Las Piñas has joined the electric vehicle bandwagon with Muntinlupa City (which has e-trikes and electric jeepneys already for years) for public transportation.

The City of Parañaque meanwhile remains behind. Last time I checked at Parañaque City Hall, they don’t even have a draft ordinance needed to legalize the use of electric vehicles for public transportation.

Speaking of Parañaque, I can’t forget the embarrassing failed launch of the electric tricycle project of the BF Federation of Homeowner Associations, Inc. (BFFHAI) of 2016. From the way things looked back then, BFFHAI failed to verify if Parañaque (which occupies a huge portion of BF Homes subdivision) had any ordinance legalizing the use of electric vehicles for public transportation. Back then, Las Piñas (which occupies another large portion of BF Homes subdivision) obviously did not have a similar ordinance.

Right now in South Metro Manila, Las Piñas and Muntinlupa are leading the way for public commuters with electric vehicles.

My Observations: Las Piñas Cafe

Today I managed to visit a particular new place in the City of Las Piñas which has been getting some attention lately. It is called Las Piñas Cafe and it is located just steps outside of the main building of City Hall.

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Las Piñas Cafe from the outside. It was recently inaugurated by the City Government of Las Piñas led by incumbent Mayor Imelda Aguilar.

Currently operating on one floor, Las Piñas Cafe is a canteen which has a large floor space with many tables and chairs (estimated sitting capacity of at least 80 people) kept cool with air-condition units.

Upon entering the front doors, you will find to the left is selection of meals and drinks where customers can line-up and pay for. There is also another spot of snacks (note: junk food) to choose from.

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The self-service counter for meals and drinks.
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A selection of snacks on display.

Out of curiosity I bought a drink and sat at one of the many chairs across the room to drink and watch. In my observation, the place is pretty comfortable. I would not be surprised that very soon, the place will be occupied by more people (notably City Government employees and visitors) seeking comfort and refreshment.

With the summer season approaching, I can easily imagine a lot of people spending time inside the cafeteria to escape the scorching heat.

According to the City Government of Las Piñas, the Las Piñas Cafe actually had its soft opening last year. The formal and full opening happened very recently which was done by Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar together with her daughter (and running-mate for this May’s election) April, Vice Mayor Louie Bustamante, members of the City Council and heads of varied City Government departments.

The construction of Las Piñas Cafe was described to be part of the mayor’s infrastructure development program.

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A view from the far end of the cafeteria.

If you have time to visit City Hall, I suggest visiting their comfortable and cool cafeteria.


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