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 Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ Members Networking Night
Let me share to you all that I had a grand time meeting with varied business people and professionals. On the evening of July 29 at Manila Elks Club in Makati City, I attended the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Members Networking Night organized by the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. The result was a lot of enlightenment on my part and satisfaction now that I have brand new connections with many professionals.
I also had a grand experience learning about the strengthening ties between the Philippines and Israel. Since a miracle happened to me last year, I moved forward personally, socially and professionally. Along the way, I gained tremendous interest on Israel which I hope to visit someday.
As a nation, Israel is highly significant. It is one of the most innovative nations in the whole world as confirmed by a recent study. In addition to establishing ties with other professionals, my passion for Israel was a key factor behind my participation in the Networking Night event.
During the event, there was a program with a nice presentation to the members and the guests. Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines President Sagiv Massad warmly welcomed us with his remarks followed by a short speech delivered by Ms. Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov who is the Deputy Chief of Mission from the Embassy of Israel.
The Deputy Chief of Mission confirmed that bilateral ties between the Philippines and Israel are indeed getting stronger.
“The job that Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines has been doing is very much appreciated by the embassy. It is a great contribution to our bilateral relations,” said Deputy Chief of Mission Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov. “I am very pleased to mention that we have very positive developments in the relations between Israel and the Philippines recently.”
While emphasizing the positive developments, she mentioned President Rodrigo Duterte’s official visit to Israel in 2018 which is a milestone as it marked the first time a Philippine President visited the country. Duterte had a big delegation with him to Israel and a lot of agreements were signed. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Duterte.
The Deputy Chief of Mission mentioned that one of the signed agreements was related to the employment of caregivers and that fees on them would be reduced. Already there are 35,000 Filipino caregivers working in Israel who contributed a lot to the local society. The other agreement mentioned was about the employment of Filipino workers in the tourism industry of Israel. As a nation, Israel has a population of nine million and attracts four million tourists yearly. The Philippines was the first nation approached by Israel for its tourism needs.
After the update about Philippines-Israel relations, networking followed and it was during this time I met with varied professionals and business executives. We introduced ourselves, exchanged business cards and talked business. Along the way, I learned a lot from the professionals I met whose expertise include marketing, logistics, tax law, travel, sales, the airline industry, business solution development, events organizing, fruit processing, career development, real estate, etc.
As the event went on, some prizes were raffled off to very lucky winners (including myself).
By the end of the Networking Night, I went home very enlightened, delighted and satisfied. There is nothing like making a whole lot of connections with varied professionals in just a few hours’ time. In the world of business, having connections is essential and they can add a lot to your business performance as well as its development.
Lastly, I should say that during my previous career as a community newspaper reporter, I attended and reported about the activities of the Parañaque City chapter of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI). Privately I also attended some conferences that attracted varied industry professionals. The Chamber’s Networking Night is the most significant corporate event I attended yet. Now that I’m working in industry and attended this memorable July 29 event, I certainly will watch out for the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ next event and eventually learn more about Israel and its ties with the Philippines.
What is the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines?
You must be wondering – what exactly is the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and how significant are they? Let me explain.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines was established with a purpose to foster, enable, facilitate and ensure the success of its members’ businesses while promoting business-to-business networking between Israel and the Philippines. The Chamber aims to collaborate with Philippine government officials, agencies and bureaus, as well as business and community leaders in dealing with important and critical issues affecting business and industries in both countries, while contributing to their civic, social and economic development.
With regards to the benefits of being a member of the Chamber, the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines represents and further the interests of each member. Through General Membership meetings, Business Forums and other events, Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines members receive assistance in promoting their companies and individual interests, keeping them abreast and ahead of business trends both in the country and in Israel.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines has a well established network with varied foreign and local chambers. They have ties with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI), other industry group-focused trade and business organizations as well. The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines constantly strives to be the premiere comprehensive resource and vehicle for the achievement of a strong and meaningful bilateral trade relationship between Israel and the Philippines that would be mutually beneficial to both countries.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines is currently open for local businesses who wish to join them as a member.
If you wish to learn more about the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, visit their website at ICCP.ph and follow their official Facebook page.
What will happen is that voters will select up to twelve candidates for the Philippine Senate to serve for the next six years. With regards to their localities, voters will choose who will serve them at the House of Representatives for the next three years. For the provinces, voters will get to choose the governor, the vice governor and members of the provincial board.
Moving further local, voters will choose who will be the mayor, the vice mayor and councilors in their respective cities or municipalities. The elected officials will serve three years.
“We enjoin all Filipinos who are eligible to vote to participate in this healthy democratic exercise as we call on all candidates across the political spectrum to ask their supporters to observe an honest, orderly, peaceful and credible elections reflective of the people’s genuine will,” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a press statement.
While it makes sense to encourage eligible voters to take part in the democratic exercise, Philippine democracy has its flaws. Flaws not limited to the electoral system being imperfect nor limited to voters being divided between the educated, the less educated and the uneducated.
Regardless of education, there are voters here in the Philippines who easily fall for the charms of the candidates (especially the incumbent public officials) who in turn exploit them. When a voter gets charmed, he/she tends to forget about the social and political issues that matter and gets manipulated to vote for the candidate he/she finds charming.
How do city government-level candidates and/or incumbent public officials charm the voters? Pose in front of photographers pretending to be busy; give a beautiful smile; stand beside a beauty pageant winner; lead the oath-taking ceremony of new officials of a homeowners association (note: such a ceremony carries NO LEGAL WEIGHT whatsoever as the city government official has no right to step into the jurisdiction of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board which is the regulator for HOAs); deliver an inspirational speech filled with lies or exaggerations; pretend to be smart and all-knowing in front of people; etc.
Sad to say, there is an element of acting in public service. As if that was not bad enough, there is also the illegal activity of vote-buying. If voters were more educated and/or had a stronger common sense as well as a strong mental defense, then it could change the trends of election campaigning which, for the most part, strongly relies on charming voters, exploiting the ignorant and tempting people with money.
I chose not to be ignorant which is why I do private research on the candidates in each election and pray to the Lord directly.
In addition, I can clearly say that I don’t get charmed and I don’t get fooled by candidates. I don’t allow the charmed ones to influence me as well.
Charm is pretty but it is a risk factor for Philippine democracy. There should be more focus on integrity, credibility and capabilities on the parts of the candidates and incumbent officials.
If you intend to vote at all, I would suggest preparing yourself to not only be wiser (and be resistant to charm gimmicks by the candidates) but be edified spiritually. How? By praying to Lord Jesus for guidance, enlightenment and peace to name a few. I would also suggest to pray for whichever candidates win because any new or re-elected public official should be aware that high above him/her is the Lord. Definitely no public official can ever match the authority of God!
Pray also for your local community, your town or city and the nation as well. If you feel uncertain about whom to vote for, ask the Lord! Remember that whoever gets elected, the future and the welfare of the people get affected. Public service comes with lots of temptations and power can be abused.
Before voting on Monday, be sure to worship the Lord on Sunday at church. Pray to Him even further in the privacy of your room. Be inside your room, shut the door, read the Holy Bible and pray in tongues to the Lord.
Take note that a nation without God’s guidance is a nation without order. Never mind the rants of the secularists because the truth is written in the Holy Bible, specifically Proverbs 29: 18-27 (NKJV).
Next is this holy scripture from Psalm 33: 12 (NKJV). It’s a very powerful scripture.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
Don’t let the pretentious, the ignorant and the devil manipulate you. Always be connected with the Lord and be faithful to Him. Democracy means nothing without the Lord. Remember that.
As a resident living in South Metro Manila, I always prefer to see the entire Philippines’ infrastructure get developed and expanded tremendously because the benefits of improved travel time and experience will be felt by the riding public for the long term. At the same time, such improvements will help travelers reach the far-away destinations with better speed and in less time.
Today I learned about some good news – the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAEX) has started construction beginning with a 27-kilometer section. A groundbreaking ceremony was held at Alapan II-B Village in Cavite Province on March 27. The CALAEX itself has a grand total distance of 45 kilometers.
As announced on the Philippine News Agency (PNA) website, the P12-billion Cavite segment will ensure a safe, efficient and seamless travel for motorists from the history town of Kawit in Cavite to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) – Mamplasan Interchange. It is expected to cut travel time from 2.5 hours to less than 45 minutes and help decongest approximately fifty thousand cars.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar declared that the project is part of the President Rodrigo Duterte administration’s masterplan to connect Luzon from north to south, to be called the “Luzon Spine Expressway Network” (LSEN), to increase the current 300-km. high-speed expressway to 1,000 km. by the year 2022. Duterte’s term of office will end in that year.
“We will deliver not just on our promise to solve traffic, but to bring development to our provinces,” Villar announced.
More on speed, the expressways are not only expected to cut travel time for motorists but help add to the development of the provinces of Cavite and Laguna. Cavite is now the biggest in terms of population among the country’s provinces, with an estimated 4.1 million people according to 2016 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.
In terms of cooperation, Cavite Governor Jesus Crispin Remulla said this “speaks volumes about the dynamism of the government and its private partner.” He said the expressway will connect Laguna and Cavite, and declog the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).
Meanwhile the Laguna segment of the CALAEX project is now in full swing which, according to Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) president and Chief Executive Officer, Rodrigo Franco, is expected to open the first section during the third quarter or as early as July this year.
When it comes to economic development by means of job creation, the CALAEX will employ some 1,200 personnel for its Laguna segment and close to 1,300 more for site and office personnel as its Cavite segment progresses. It is part of the network of toll roads that the MPTC is constructing and developing, which will connect to Cavitex and the C5-South Link and will make transfers from Laguna, Cavite, Las Piñas, Parañaque, and CP Garcia Ave. seamless.
The CALAEX is one of many projects being done under the highly ambitious Build Build Build program of the Duterte administration. Build Build Build lists down high impact projects that are envisioned to improve the economy, increase incomes, invite investments leading to job creation. In his 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda, President Duterte envisioned the reduction of poverty from 21.6% in 2015 to 13% to 15% in 2022. It was emphasized that the acceleration of infrastructure development will pave the way for a more comfortable life, better travel and improved economic development nationwide.
Last night (March 17, 2019) I attended the birthday party of former Barangay BF Homes kagawad Alfred Lazatin who is a candidate running for one of the eight seats in the City Council (for District 2) of Parañaque with the next local election happening this May. The party was held at the covered basketball court in BF NorthWest, Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City, Philippines.
Lazatin, who served his barangay for over a decade, is now 40-years-old. His wife Cielo is now serving the barangay as an incumbent kagawad.
As this year is an election year for both national and local levels, it is no surprise that the teammates of Lazatin with Team Bernabe-Marquez were also present mingling with the guests and greeting as many people as they could. This includes former Parañaque City Mayor Florencio”Jun” Bernabe (whose birthday party I wrote about), his running mate former Barangay BF Homes chairman Jeremy Marquez, former BF NorthWest president Anthony Vivero plus other teammates including those running for City Council seats of District 1.
“I met with Mayor (Jun Bernabe) at SM MOA not too long ago and I told him that he should return to power in the city (to improve it for the people),” Duterte said. “The team led by Bernabe and Jeremy Marquez is ready to serve the people of Parañaque for a brighter future. They can’t do it alone and that’s why your participation in the election is needed. The future of Parañaque is at stake.”
The speech ended with a strong applause from the many guests who were present.
The rest of the birthday party saw the guests enjoy the meals and drinks served. Some prizes were raffled off and the lucky winners were seen happy.
For your viewing pleasure, check out the other pictures from the party posted below.
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