This time it is the City Government of Muntinlupa doing its part to curb dengue cases. Through a press release issued today by their Public Information Office, it was announced that Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi ordered the City Health Office to purchase P10 million worth of spraying materials for fogging activities and space spraying as measures to curb dengue cases in the city.
“The local government will intensify its campaign and strategies against dengue including the 4 o’clock habit which encourages the public to clean, search, and destroy possible mosquito breeding places,” Fresnedi said.
It was mentioned that the Muntinlupa CHO has been coordinating with the city’s nine barangays and public and private schools for the conduct of daily clean-up and information drives on how to prevent dengue.
City Health Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao advised parents to send their children to local health centers upon manifestation of symptoms such as high fever for three or more consecutive days, severe headache, rashes, and among others.
Residents were urged by the City Government to keep their houses and surroundings clean to lower the risk of dengue. The public was reminded to regularly clean and monitor containers than can hold unnecessary stagnant water which may become breeding sites of mosquitoes such as bottle cap, dish dryer, plant axil, gutter, trash can, and old rubber tires.
Recently the City of Las Piñas made waves in the national news. This was because Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar issued a warning to the leaders of twenty barangays of extreme consequence if they fail to clear the respective areas of obstructions and structures that are illegal.
During a meeting held on August 1, the mayor met with the barangay chairpersons from the city’s two districts and laid down the City Government’s plan action to rid all roads and sidewalks of illegal vendors, illegally parked vehicles and overlapping structures, including those unfinished excavations by various service utilities.
“You will be accountable to me if you fail to implement the rules that endanger the lives of our fellow Las Piñero,” Mayor Aguilar told the barangay leaders.
Along with the other Metro Manila city mayors, Mayor Aguilar committed to the 60-day period given by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año to clear the metro roads of obstructions.
But prior to the DILG directive, the mayor already convened Task Force Kaayusan last month which immediately conducted clearing operations in the city to address concerns on traffic and road hazards. The task force is composed of the Estate Management and Development Office (EMDO), City Engineering Office, the local Philippine National Police, the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO), and spearheaded by the Mayor’s Office.
“These obstructions must be permanently rid from our main road, which is the Alabang-Zapote Road, as well as the inner roads must likewise be cleared of any obstacles. Let us give back the sidewalks to the pedestrians and the roads to motorists,” the mayor said.
She also requested the City Council, through Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery (the mayor’s daughter), to review the existing ordinances on obstruction and public order and safety.
The City of Muntinlupa made waves in the field of science and technology recently as Muntinlupa-based wine maker Dielles Apiary and Meadery, Inc. and Southville 3 Homebased Producers Association Inc. (SHBPAI) snagged three major awards in the recently held 2019 National Science and Technology Week (2019 NSTW) by Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
As a result, Mayor Jaime Fresnedi formally congratulated Dielles Apiary and Meadery, Inc. and SHBPAI whose officials were presented before City Government officials at the grounds of City Hall during the July 22 flag raising ceremony.
To put things in perspective, the 2019 NSTW showcased the latest innovations in technologies, products, and research that contribute to national development. During that particular showcase, Dielles Apiary and Meadery, Inc. won the Best Packaging and Labelling Innovation in the regional and national level. Further, it also represented NCR as the regional winner in the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program national category.
For its part, SHBPAI emerged as the winner in the Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology or CEST Program in NCR and became the finalist in the national category.
Dielles Apiary and Meadery, Inc. and Muntinlupa SHBPAI received S&T assistance such as package development, training, laboratory and consultancy services from DOST to improve their operations and boost their productivity and competitiveness.
Dielles Apiary and Meadery, Inc. owner Luke Deogracias Macabbabad, also a beneficiary of the City Government’s zero-interest loan assistance, expressed his thanks to the City Government for its assistance to local Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises. Also present during the same ceremony SHBPAI president Nympha Palafox and DOST MuntiParLas Cluster Director Kim Atienza.
In line with the DOST’s thrust, Muntinlupa City supports budding entrepreneurs and MSMEs to scale up their businesses through various programs, having the Tulong Negosyo zero-interest loan assistance as the flagship project which provide financial assistance from 2,000 up to 150,000 pesos depending on business capital ceiling and payment record.
The DOST and the City Government continuously work towards providing innovative solutions for the communities. DOST MuntiParLas Cluster Office is located at Muntinlupa City Technical Institue in San Guillermo St., Barangay Putatan.
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.
Meet Barangay BF Homes SK Chairperson Mariel Tumang
For much of the day on June 30, 2019, the Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay BF Homes (BFSK) led by its chairperson Mariel Angela Tumang visited different developing communities of Barangay BF Homes in Parañaque City and implemented their special project called Waste Wise for Rice.
The project emphasized the trading in of Eco Bricks for kilograms of rice grain. According to chairperson Tumang, local community residents each hand over to them the Eco Brick(s) (plastic bottle containing wrappings of snack products) and in return the SK gives out a kilogram of rice grain. Tumang and her kagawads (youth councilors) Alma Galindo, Roselyn Regis, Jerry Dalmero, Kelly Haboc, Irene Juanico, Anne Gabrielle Corre, Stephanie Sebullen worked hard that day.
According to the Facebook page of the BFSK, the SK collected 900 Eco Bricks and they released over 900 kilograms of rice grain. The SK emphasized that their June 30 project was environment-friendly and a good provider of food for the residents. Here in the Philippines, rice is staple food.
Before that special project happened, I got to interview BFSK chairperson Tumang (who is also the Vice President of the Parañaque SK Federation) and here is my exclusive feature of her for you all.
Who is Mariel Tumang?
Mariel Angela Tumang was born in the late 1990s. She recently graduated at the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA with a BS in Accountancy. Her entry into the Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay BF Homes came at a time when the SK got reformed. In short, she and her fellow councilors are pioneers for Barangay BF Homes under the new SK system.
To put things in perspective, the SK or youth council was a decades-old system in Philippine society that, from its 1975 beginning, developed a poor reputation. Critics called the SK a system that politicizes youths, a failure on implementing youth development programs, a breeding ground for corruption and the like. People who don’t believe in the SK stressed that youths are not ready for early public service and that they are better off focusing on their academics. Also it did not help under the original SK system that youth leaders who were not even of legal age (below 18) got to sign contracts between their council and other organizations.
In early 2016, Congress approved Republic Act Number 10742 which was called the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Law. It saw some notable changes like raising the age of the council to 18-24 years-old (versus the previous 15-17) and implementing an anti-political dynasty rule.
This brings me back to Tumang and her kagawads.
In the summer of 2018, a team of youth candidates under the umbrella of former Barangay BF Homes chairperson Florencia “Beng” Amurao was formed and Tumang was the candidate for BFSK chairperson. As it was the first SK election in some years, as well as the first-ever election under the reformed SK system, there was hesitation along the way for Tumang.
“Actually, I did not want to join the election because for me, politics is dirty,” Tumang said. “My friends inspired me especially Tita Beng (Amurao). My mother worked for her previously. Tita Beng said she wanted me to be her group’s candidate for SK chairperson and I said that I was still studying and was unsure about the idea of running in the election. After some more talk, I got inspired a lot and decided to run.”
When I asked her if she had thought about uplifting the status of youths of the many communities of Barangay BF Homes as part of her decision to run, she confirmed that it was indeed her intention all along. She also had insight.
“Before entering the SK, I was a student leader and during my days at Masville National High School I was the SSG president. I also received an award for leadership of students when I graduated high school. I was also a Girl Scout and along the way we got trained with leadership skills and values. A lot of my friends told me I have leadership skills,” she said.
In the reformed SK election for Barangay BF Homes, Tumang and her teammates under the Team Amurao banner ran against their counterparts from the group of then Kagawad Paolo Marquez. As the competition between the two teams was intense, the campaigning was, unsurprisingly, very challenging.
“It was really hard for me personally for I was not really an outgoing person. I spent my time mostly at school and at home. We were somewhat known in Masville but not that much in other communities of the barangay,” Tumang recalled. “At the same time, I took summer classes along the way which was a requirement at school. I had to skip some classes just to campaign. When I was able to attend to both (campaign and class), there were days we went house-to-house campaigning in the morning, then I go school in the after and attend campaign meetings in the evening.”
All the pain, the lack of sleep and hard efforts to win the voters’ trust ultimately paid off for Tumang as she defeated her election rival Aira Besana (Team Marquez) for the BFSK chairperson post gathering a total 2,672 votes. The seven SK kagawad posts were split between Team Amurao and Team Marquez candidates.
“I was so glad and I cried when I learned that I won the SK chairperson position. My friends and family really supported me during the COMELEC counting of the votes. It was a nerve-wrecking experience and many of us, including my teammates, stayed at the Phase 1 gym for a very long time without any sleep,” she recalled.
Since taking office as chairperson of the Barangay BF Homes youth council on June 30, 2018, she and her councilors organized several projects and activities on developing youths of the local communities despite the fact that they lacked funds. Along the way, she and her councilors participated in some seminars and out-of-town activities related to youth development and leadership development. Of course, leading the BFSK made life more challenging for her since she was still finishing her studies.
“It’s really difficult,” Tumang remarked on balancing her personal life with academics and SK duty. “There were times I really cried because I could not manage my time. When we started, we lacked direction on what to do so I asked my mother for guidance since she served as a staffer of the barangay before.”
Tumang added that being a student and an elected youth leader forced her to make hard decisions when barangay matters conflicted with her academics. While missing out on class was costly, being absent from a youth council meeting or session would mean getting left behind on the latest developments.
On the aspect of legislation, Tumang serves as the presiding officer of the youth council. She coordinates with the SK secretary over the agenda for each session which is held only once a month. Already some resolutions have been approved by the BFSK most notably their budget which is in the millions of pesos.
As the reformed SK was so new, Tumang and her kagawads started without a real budget at all and had to depend on the barangay’s youth development fund. Along the way, they had to make hard adjustments by learning the processes, learning how to do proper reports, practice of ethics, and more.
As of this year, the BFSK is inching closer to completing the system for the receiving and releasing of funds that are needed to realize their youth development projects. Tumang and her team had visited the banks, coordinated with the barangay and secure several requirements. They were delayed somewhat because of an election ban related to the May 2019 national and local elections.
While there were lots of hassles and challenges, Tumang still is focused on serving the youths of Barangay BF Homes and with what the BFSK has achieved so far. She and her kagawads are striving to do much more to make progressive and positive impact on developing the local youths.
“The feeling is so pleasant whenever I see someone smile as a result of the projects we at the SK have accomplished,” she said with a smile.
Message to the Readers
“I wish to share to you all that the Sangguniang Kabataan is really a good thing because we can talk to youths who are naturally hesitant to communicate with older people or share their concerns. Youths are always struggling with some sort of personal or social problems of their own as they grow up. From peer pressure, to insecurity, mental problems and suicidal thoughts, the youth are struggling and they need help. We are willing to help them. Here in BF, we are very willing to help implement the very promising programs from Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez designed for the youth. Problematic youths are very welcome to visit barangay hall for assistance and we are very willing to provide it. The BFSK is caring and we aim to develop local youths socially, academically and morally. With seminars, outreach and enlightening group discussions already done, the reformed SK system is truly about nurturing youths and it is no longer limited to organizing sports events.”
On July 1, Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi reached out to the new members of the City Council calling for their support for his 9-Point Program of Governance during the inaugural session of the legislative body at the Session Hall, People’s Center, Muntinlupa City Hall.
Now on his 3rd and final term, the mayor delivered his response message in the resumption of the City Council sessions led by newly elected Vice Mayor Artemio Simundac. Simundac expressed the Council’s support to compliment initiatives carried by executive departments through local legislation.
Local majority floor leader Coun. Raul Corro said the 9th City Council will be a “Working Council” and committed to uphold professionalism and pro-activeness.
For the next three years, the Fresnedi administration will focus on delivering programs and projects for the following development areas: Health and Wellness, Local History and Culture, Education and Youth, Livelihood and Employment, Peace and Order, Socialized Housing, Good Governance, Economic Development, and Environmental Protection.
Very recently, Mayor Fresnedi was sworn into office and his third term was inaugurated. He was sworn in by Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Judge Antonietta Medina on June 28 before his supporters and other guests.