2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections postponed!

2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections postponed!

Next Barangay and SK polls to happen on December 5, 2022

Did your local community print media news publication neglect to inform you of the hot news about the next Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections?

Here are the news: the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections originally scheduled for 2020 has officially been postponed and rescheduled the new date of December 5, 2022!

According to the release of Philippine News Agency (PNA), Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act Number 11462 (titled “Postponement of the 2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections Act”) which effectively postponed the polls originally set for May 2020. The act was signed in ceremony at Malacanang Palace on the afternoon of December 3.

Those who witnessed the signing were  Senate President Vicente Sotto III, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Maria Imelda Josefa Marcos, Negros Occidental 4th District Rep. Juliet Ferrer, Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

During his keynote speech, Duterte said that the republic act signed is vital in relation to “realizing meaningful and lasting reform for the good of our nation.”

Effects of RA 11462

Apart from postponing the May 2020 polls and setting December 5, 2022 as the new date to hold the elections, incumbent village executives and officials of the youth council will remain in office until their successors have been duly elected or unless they have been removed or suspended.

Given the new date of the Barangay and SK elections, the new set of barangay and SK officials who get elected in December 2022 will take office on January 1, 2023.

Subsequent village and youth council polls will be held on the first Monday of December 2025 and every three years after.

Background

During his fourth State of the Nation Address on July 22, Duterte asked Congress to pass a measure suspending the elections set in May 2020, to give village officials more time to finish their programs and projects.

The Senate and the House of Representatives on November 12 ratified the bicameral conference report of their consolidated measure on the postponement of the twin elections.

This is the third deferment of the village and youth council’s elections since 2016.

Reactions

As soon as the PNA release of this development came out, I reached out to the officials of Barangay BF Homes and their Sangguniang Kabataan for reactions. So far, they have not responded to my inquiries. If ever they respond, I’ll post the reactions right here.

Meanwhile, Senator Imee Marcos posted via her Facebook page on December 4 the following words: Thank you, Mr. President! And we hope this will be the final postponement of Barangay and SK elections, so that in the future, barangay elections will be regular and predictable – one year after the national elections. Barangays are the government’s frontline, and their officials need security and support to deliver government services to the people.

For his part, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar stated that postponing the twin polls would make it easier for the incumbent village executives to implement their projects.

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC), which is the main body for elections all over the Philippines, saw its spokesperson James Jimenez saying that the postponement will allow them to focus on preparing for the 2022 Presidential Election.

 

 

Parañaque BPLO Receives Concerns About BF Homes Businesses That Built Illegal Structures on Sidewalks

Hi everyone! I’m back here with new updates about BF Homes, specifically about business establishments that built illegal structures on roads and sidewalks within the local community and within the jurisdiction of Parañaque City.

Previously, I wrote about Barangay BF Homes’ move to request the Parañaque City Business Permit and Licensing Office (Parañaque BPLO) to review the business permits of erring business establishments complete with feedback from Barangay Captain Paolo Marquez. That action of Barangay BF Homes was the result of the official letter the barangay received from developer BF Homes, Inc. (BFHI) which complained to them about business establishments inside BF Homes subdivision that made illegal structures on the roads and sidewalks (owned by the developer since they never donated the subdivision to any local government nor to any homeowners’ association).

Around the same time BFHI sent its October 2019 letter to Barangay BF Homes about the issue, the developer also sent another letter of the same nature directly to the BPLO of Parañaque.

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In the October 1, 2019 letter (received by the BPLO on October 7, 2019), BFHI President Engr. Fernando Javier wrote to Parañaque BPLO head Atty. Melanie Malaya that business establishments inside BF Homes subdivision have proliferated throughout the years without being regulated and monitored for compliance with the Building Code and other property laws. He pointed out that most of those businesses built illegal structures for their private use along the sidewalks (which are meant for public use).

Not only did Javier express the company’s disappointment over the BPLO’s continued renewal of the permits of the erring businesses (with apparent violations committed), he told Malaya that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued the July 29, 2019 Memorandum Circular (Number 2019-121) in which President Rodrigo Duterte expressly directed local chief executives to rid the roads and sidewalks of illegal structures and constructions that were being used for private ends.

Signed by DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Ano, the order stated:

Relatedly, local chief executives are hereby directed to revoke permits that give authority to private entities to occupy public roads, alleys and other thoroughfares. Prudence must also be observed in placing street signs and signages to avoid exacerbating problems on obstructions. Moreover, local sanggunians are enjoined to revisit ordinances and similar legislative measures to ensure responsiveness to this presidential directive and consistency with related laws and policies.

For strategic implementation of this Circular, all provinces, highly urbanized cities (HUCs), cities and municipalities shall prepare an inventory of all roads within its jurisdiction.

The BFHI executive reminded Malaya that President Duterte’s directive to revoke the permits of erring businesses happened months ago and already the 60-day period to achieve significant results in BF Homes has passed.

“We have not received any report of revocation of business permit,” Javier wrote.

BFHI made clear in its letter that if they don’t see any significant results done by the BPLO, they will report the matter to the DILG.

To find what happened, I visited the BPLO at Parañaque City Hall yesterday. The head of the BPLO, Atty. Malaya, was not present (note: she was at a meeting). However, there were a few officials who were authorized to answer my inquiry as to what the BPLO has been doing with regards to the BFHI’s direct complaint (which is clearly related to Barangay BF Homes’ request for them to review business permits).

A BPLO official told me that the complaint of BFHI has since been endorsed to the Office of the Building Official of Parañaque (Parañaque OBO) and they will follow-up soon with them if any development has been made. The BPLO stated that the OBO is involved since the aspects of construction and following the National Building Code are involved. They also stated that building permits are required for businesses (that have physical presence) to have their respective biz permits issued, implying that the business establishments of BF Homes subdivision had secured building permits (and other requirements) and were deemed qualified to be granted biz permits.

So that’s it as of now. The BPLO of Parañaque literally passed the ball to the OBO for feedback. While this is going on, business establishments that built illegal structures on the sidewalks of BF Homes subdivision continue to operate freely which is depressing. The DILG order is clear and yet, in BF Homes (arguably the most famous residential-commercial community of South Metro Manila), the rule of law is not felt even though there has been news media coverage about city governments clearing the roads and public places of obstruction.

More on the City Government of Parañaque, mayor Edwin Olivarez has been consistent with his repetition of his message that his administration is always business-friendly. My question is this: Does a business-friendly Parañaque mean allowing businesses to violate laws and keep operating?

If anything new happens about this hot issue, I’ll keep you readers posted.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Barangay BF Homes Requests PQUE City Government to Review Permits of Erring Business Establishments

This past October, Barangay BF Homes sent a request to the City Government of Parañaque to review the permits they issued to business establishments operating in their local community that built illegal structures and initiated construction projects along the sidewalks.

Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez confirmed this development to me in relation to an October 1, 2019 letter that they received (on October 3) from developer BF Homes, Inc. (BFHI).

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In that letter, BFHI Vice President for Production Engr. Fernando Javier told the barangay captain that most business establishments in the local community have built illegal structures along the sidewalks which are intended for public use.

The BFHI executive pointed out that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued on July 29, 2019 a memorandum circular (Number 2019-121) in which President Rodrigo Duterte expressly directed local chief executives to rid the roads and sidewalks of illegal structures and constructions that were being used for private ends.

The memorandum circular, signed by DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Ano, stated:

Relatedly, local chief executives are hereby directed to revoke permits that give authority to private entities to occupy public roads, alleys and other thoroughfares. Prudence must also be observed in placing street signs and signages to avoid exacerbating problems on obstructions. Moreover, local sanggunians are enjoined to revisit ordinances and similar legislative measures to ensure responsiveness to this presidential directive and consistency with related laws and policies.

For strategic implementation of this Circular, all provinces, highly urbanized cities (HUCs), cities and municipalities shall prepare an inventory of all roads within its jurisdiction.

To put things in perspective, varied city governments around the country implemented road clearing operations on roads and sidewalks.

But going into the Barangay BF Homes community, which by the way is huge, BFHI not only urged captain Paolo Marquez to act (the developer will report the matter to the DILG and the Office of the President if no significant results are realized), but they also wrote twice to the Sangguniang Barangay (Barangay BF Homes council) on November 2018 about clearing obstructions along sidewalks. BFHI reminded Marquez that the Barangay BF Homes Council claimed it will refer their demand (note: in response to the November 2018 letters) to the City Legal Office and, so far, the developer has not received any updates from the barangay.

With regards to Barangay BF Homes responding to the October 1, 2019 letter of BFHI, captain Marquez told me that they will see developments first before issuing a response to the developer. So far the barangay has yet to see an official response from the City Government whom they requested to review all permits that were issued to business establishments (including those that built illegal structures on sidewalks). It also remains to be seen if the City Government under mayor Edwin Olivarez will actually revoke the business permits of businesses found guilty of obstruction in accordance to the DILG’s July 29, 2019 memorandum circular.

Back to captain Marquez, he also mentioned that the barangay itself initiated street clearing operations back in August. To conduct clearing operations on Aguirre Avenue (which is a very long road all of which occupies the jurisdiction of Paranaque City), the barangay will have to engage with a private stakeholder first.

To put things in perspective, BF Homes, Inc. NEVER donated the roads and sidewalks to any local government unit (LGU) or homeowners association (HOA) which explains why they have the right to complain about illegal structures on the sidewalks. The BF Homes community, by the way, also stretches into the cities of Las Piñas and Muntinlupa.

Back to the barangay, there recently was a reform of the Parañaque system of processing business permits in which the barangay no longer processes applications for business clearances (clearly, they no longer issue the said clearances) and that business owners who wish to renew permits can go straight to City Hall, specifically at the Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO). Under the old system, business owners had to apply for a biz clearance at the barangay and secure it first (because it was a requirement back then) before proceeding to BPLO of the City.

Future updates on this ongoing development concerning the BF Homes community will be posted here once they happen.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Hundreds Flock to COMELEC Satellite Registration for Barangay BF Homes

Today, hundreds of people went to the Satellite Registration processing organized by the Commission on Elections – Parañaque City office (COMELEC-PQUE) at Robinsons Townville (part of Pergola Mall) service of the residents of Barangay BF Homes who want to register themselves as voters as well as local voters who want to adjust their statuses.

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As it turned out, most of the people here waited to get in for the Satellite Registration than for shopping. 

To put things in perspective, no less than Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez confirmed to me that, indeed, the whole day process was requested by him and members of the Barangay Council which the COMELEC-PQUE agreed to. It is important to keep in mind that Barangay BF Homes is still the largest barangay in the city in terms of voters and it is easily the hot spot for mayoral and vice-mayoral candidates to campaign in when it comes to local elections. Barangay BF Homes is part of the city’s 2nd district.

In the morning, there already was a line of people before 8AM just outside the Elsie Gatches entry into Robinsons Supermarket BF Homes. Once opened, they entered and went up to the 2nd floor for the registration. The process was done in five steps: verification of valid IDs, recording/releasing of forms, interview for precinct assignment, capturing of biometrics and the thumb marking process (with the release of claim stub).

The way the situation is right now here in the Philippines, the next national and local elections won’t be held until May 2022. When it comes to the next Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan, the next election is currently set for May 2020 although there is an ongoing effort in Congress to have it postponed to May 2023 (a response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s request during his 2019 State of the Nation Address).

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Barangay BF Homes SK chairperson Mariel Tumang assisted a youth applicant. The COMELEC accepted youth applicants aged 15 to 17-years-old and thanks to the BFSK, several youth they invited arrived and applied.
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A COMELEC-PQUE official helped some applicants with regards to filling up forms.

Going back to the Satellite Registration for Barangay BF Homes, COMELEC-PQUE personnel confirmed to me that they will only accept up to five hundred people who apply to get registered formally as voters or, in the case of voters, have their statuses adjusted (including status reactivation for voters who failed to vote in successive elections).

As I noticed today, there were several teenagers who lined up to get registered. This was because the COMELEC-PQUE opened voter registration to youth aged 15 to 17-years-old, plus the Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay BF Homes (BFSK) invited youth from around the community to take advantage of the free service. This was confirmed to me by no less than BFSK chairperson Mariel Angela Tumang. I saw Tumang as well as BFSK Kagawads Irene Juanico and Stephanie Sebullen plus other barangay personnel help out.  Free coffee was provided by the office of Parañaque City Councilor Wahoo Sotto.

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Personnel from the office of Parañaque City Councilor Wahoo Sotto set up a coffee machine which provided free coffee to applicants.

There were a few curious shoppers who passed by and asked me what was going on. After I answered the question, they decided to try to get registered.

For more South Metro Manila and BF Homes developments, come back here soon.

DILG: No local government unit fully compliant with road clearing operations yet.

In response to a certain city government’s claim that it has joined other cities on being 100% compliant with the national government order to clear roads of obstructions, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) stated on September 13 that no local government unit (LGU) yet has been declared as fully compliant.

“We have not made any determination on which LGUs are fully compliant because the assessment of all LGUs will come after the 60-day deadline which will be on September 29, 2019,” DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

Malaya made the clarification in response to the claim made by the City Government of Makati that it has joined the cities of Marikina, Malabon, Navotas, Pasay, San Juan, Valenzuela and the municipality of Pateros, which earlier reports said are 100-percent compliant with the campaign to clear roads of obstructions, ahead of the 60-day deadline imposed by the DILG.

Citing the department’s Memorandum Circular No. 121-2019, Undersecretary Malaya said full compliance with the order is not based on road clearing operations alone.

Malaya specified that in order for an LGU to be declared as fully compliant, it should enact or revisit ordinances that are related to road clearing, the banning of illegal construction, preparing an inventory of roads within their jurisdiction, implementing displacement strategies and the like.

He added that compliance reports on the matter submitted by LGUs to the DILG regional offices and its Bureau of Local Government Supervision (BLGS) are still subject to validation.

Speaking of validation with regards to South Metro Manila, the City Government of Las Piñas claimed on its September 13, 2019 Facebook page post that the DILG “has validated the 100% completion of the clearing operations weeks ahead of the scheduled deadline on September 29,” in relation to DILG Undersecretary RJ Echiverri’s very recent visit and inspection of the result of the local clearing operation which involved the presence of Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar and other city officials.

Excerpt from the City Government of Las Piñas Facebook page post:

The ocular inspection validated the report of Mayor Mel Aguilar and the city government’s Task Force Kaayusan. DILG has validated the 100% completion of the clearing operations weeks ahead of the scheduled deadline on September 29.

Undersecretary Echiverri gave positive comments about the result of the clearing operations in Las Piñas.

Now if only the DILG itself will react to the Facebook claim of the City Government of Las Piñas.

If anything comes up, it will be posted here.

 

 

 

 

 

Las Piñas City Clearing Operation Validated by DILG

Previously the City Government of Las Piñas announced that it successfully conducted operations that cleared streets and sidewalks of debris and illegal structures way ahead of the late September deadline.

Today the City Government announced that Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary RJ Echiverri visited the city, met officials (led by Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar), inspected the primary and secondary roads where the clearing operations were done. He was accompanied by the Mayor and some other local officials.

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Las Piñas City Mayor Imelda Aguilar explains something to DILG Undersecretary Echiverri. (photo credit: City Government of Las Piñas)

According to the City Government, Undersecretary Echiverri gave positive comments about the result of the clearing operation done locally by Task Force Kaayusan and that the DILG validated it.

Part of the team that accompanied Mayor Aguilar, Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery (daughter of the mayor), and Undersecretary Echiverri during the inspection were Ms. Mary Anne Planas, Mr. Walsur Espinosa, Engr. Rose Bantog, Mr. Jose Gonzales, Dr. August Basangan, Engr. Cezar Perillo, Mr. Wifredo Gaerlan, Mr. Reynaldo Balagulan, Atty. Glenda Lucena and former city councilors Mark Santos and Henry Medina.

Anyone among you readers from Las Piñas City? Were you able to see the above officials inspecting the cleared areas of the city?

Please feel free to reply in the comments section below.

 

 

 

My Observations: National Campus Press Freedom Day Signed Into Law Making July 25 A Declared Date Of Observation

July 25 of every year will mark the observation of National Campus Press Freedom Day in all educational institutions.

This is the result of Republic Act Number 11440 (National Campus Press Freedom Day Act) that was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 28 and it was only yesterday (September 10) that a copy of the document (which includes signatures of Senate President Tito Sotto and then Speaker of the House Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) was released to the media.

“It is hereby declared the policy of the State to promote, protect, and safeguard the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression, speech, and of the press,” the law read.

“As part of media, the campus press is an important institution in promoting and protecting the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression. As a testament to its remarkable contribution in the continued advancement of these freedoms, the State shall, as a matter of policy, promote the observance of July 25 of every year as ‘National Campus Press Freedom Day’,” it added.

Under RA 11440, educational institutions are mandated to provide full support and assistance to the preparation of the annual program of activities and events to be conducted by students in observance of National Campus Press Freedom Day.

It remains to be seen, however, if the campus press (specifically the news publishing divisions) of academic institutions nationwide would warmly embrace RA 11440.

Another thing to point out is whether or not National Campus Press Freedom Day will add anything at all on inspiring student writers to learn better and improve their craft before graduating and searching for writing-related jobs.

On face value, the campus press is supposed to help students develop their skills in writing news, features and opinions, as well as verifying the facts. Such orientation is supposed to help these future professional writers find the right companies (that offer writing posts) for jobs from the national-level press right down to the local communities.

If you – the reader – are one of those aspiring to work professionally as writers in the near future, be aware that there are some local community publications around that prefer to publish propaganda (self-serving and promotional in nature) instead of practicing real journalism. The good news here is that there are lots of writing-related jobs offered by companies (including those founded by foreign investors) here in the Philippines that focus more on marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), client-specific documentation and other types of writing jobs that are different from journalism and propaganda.

You really want to work as a professional writer with a competitive salary and attractive benefits? Search for jobs in the corporate sector and the national-level media outlets.

In today’s world of social media and widespread wireless access to the Internet (with multiple Wi-Fi spots present nationwide combined with more Filipinos acquiring smartphones), accessing news online is gradually becoming the more preferred way for people looking for news. Going back to National Campus Press Freedom Day, we will find out soon enough if it will help improve the standards of students aspiring to be writers and news searchers.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com