The City Government of Muntinlupa announced today that it has donated P2,000,000 to the Batanes Provincial Government for Itbayat’s rehabilitation after being struck by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake this past July. The donation was done through the city’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO).
City Councilor members Marissa Rongavilla, Alexson Diaz, Katy Boncayao, and DRRMO chief Erwin Alfonso represented Mayor Jaime Fresnedi in the official turn-over ceremony of the financial assistance to Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco on August 17.
The City Government claims that the financial aid to the Municipality of Itbayat, Batanes will be used to implement development projects in the town and construction of a housing project for the 268 affected families. Governor Cayco extended her utmost thanks to the City Government of Muntinlupa and Mayor Fresnedi for the assistance.
It is recalled that on July 27, a series of strong earthquakes jolted Itbayat town which caused damage to structures and leaving eight (8) people dead and dozens injured.
According to bulletins from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the town was hit by magnitudes 5.4, 5.9, 5.8 within hours of each other and several aftershocks. No tsunami alerts were issued.
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi said that this initiative is the city’s share in helping our kababayans who are in need.
“In the spirit of bayanihan, the local government of Muntinlupa will continue to lend its hand to towns in the country needing assistance,” Fresnedi added.
Are you a senior citizen whose benefit under the national law was denied by a local business? Are you aware of the benefits for senior citizens under Republic Act Number 9994 (Full title:An Act Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Senior Citizens, further amending Republic Act No. 7432, As Amended, Otherwise Known As “an Act To Maximize The Contribution Of Senior Citizens To Nation Building, Grant Benefits And Special Privileges And For Other Purposes. Short title:Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010) whenever you purchase food and/or beverage in a restaurant?
Why did I ask you these questions and mentioned RA 9994? It’s quite simple – a senior citizen in BF Homes, Parañaque City filed a formal complaint against a certain food joint which refused to grant him his exemption from the 12% Value-Added Tax (VAT) when he dined at the said joint.
Here is the story with details from documents I acquired.
On June 10, 2019, Jose Luis Matti and his daughter dined at a restaurant (clue: a burger joint whose business name will be revealed in due time) along Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City. He ordered food and drinks and, under law, the discounts are limited only to food and drinks he ordered for his consumption as he is a senior citizen
The problem was that, according to Matti, the restaurant applied the 20% discount for senior citizens and yet denied him his mandated benefit of exemption from the VAT. In his June 17, 2019 letter addressed to restaurant’s owner, Matti said that the restaurant personnel he encountered on June 10 claimed they were instructed (by the owner) not to give him the 12% VAT exemption. Photocopies of the receipts were included on the said letter.
As a result, Matti filed a formal complaint against the restaurant at the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs of Parañaque City (OSCA-Parañaque) urging officer-in-charge Dante Pacheco to take action against the food joint (as per his July 12, 2019 letter to Pacheco received by the said office).
A hearing between Matti and the food joint’s owner will happen very soon at OSCA’s office at Parañaque City Hall.
I visited the restaurant along Aguirre Avenue inside BF Homes to try to meet the owner and get feedback directly from him but the personnel told me over the counter that their boss was out of town.
Understanding the legal aspect
It is stated under RA 9994 (Rule IV, Article 7) that senior citizens shall be entitled to the grant of twenty percent (20%) discount and to an exemption from the value-added tax (VAT), IF APPLICABLE, on the sale of the goods and services covered by Section 1 to 6 of this Article, from all establishments for the exclusive use and enjoyment or availment of senior citizens.
Section 3 (Rule IV, Article 7) includes restaurants, hotels, recreational centers, places of leisures and funeral services with regards to the above mentioned 20% discount and VAT exemption.
Item b (under Section 3, Rule IV, Article 7) focuses on restaurants. It states that the discount shall be for the purchase of food, drinks, dessert, and other consumable items served by the establishments offered for the consumption of the general public.
Item c states for Dine-in services under paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 3, and Section 4, paragraph 2 of Article 7,the privilege must be personally availed of by the senior citizen as defined under these Rules, and no proxies or authorization in favor of another person who is not a senior citizen will be honored.
Item e states Food, drinks and other consumable items provided in Section 3 (a) and (b), and Section 4, paragraph 2 of Article 7 purchased by the senior citizen shall be processed separately as an independent transaction from his/her non-eligible companions to ensure that it is his/her exclusive consumption and to enable computation of the 20% discount and the exemption from the Value Added Tax (VAT), which only the senior citizen is entitled to.
However, if the group of diners is composed entirely of senior citizens, all of whom present valid senior citizens IDs, each shall be entitled to a 20% discount and exemption from Value Added Tax.
This is an ongoing community development and if any breakthroughs happen, an update will be posted.
The hearing between Mr. Matti and the restaurant at the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs of Parañaque City (OSCA-Parañaque) at City Hall scheduled for August 20, 2019 did not push through due to the absence of the restaurant owner.
As such, the hearing will have to be rescheduled.
The restaurant accused in this conflict is Big Brat Burger.
Burgers have long been popular here in the Philippines and they can be bought from several makers like the fast food joints which are quite numerous.
At the expanded area of Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Union Jack Tavern has been selling and serving burgers to customers. Just open the menu when you visit them and then you will find the UJT Burger.
Sold for less than P300 as of this writing, the UJT Burger comes with a large plate filled with fries (which are thicker and less greasy compared to the fries sold by others) and the open sandwich with one half of the bun with the vegetables on top and the other half with the onions and beef covered with melted cheese.
In my recent stop at Union Jack Tavern, I had the UJT Burger and I started first with the fries which are quite filling and I like the fact that they are not too greasy to handle.
With the burger itself, considering the size, I took me a little effort to put the two buns (with their respective toppings) on top of each other to form the burger.
Then I took a bite on what parts are suitable for biting because this one is not the usual burger. The burger patty itself is quite thick and certainly not flat. After biting down the bread with the vegetables, I finally got to bite the cheese-covered burger patty. The result? The burger patty was quite tasty on its own and definitely worth going for. Then there is also that nice taste when biting the bread, the burger patty, the cheese and the vegetables altogether.
It may not be too visible for those who like burgers but failed to check Union Jack Tavern’s menu, but there is no doubt that the UJT Burger is a delicious and filling burger meal just waiting to be discovered.
The UJT Burger is highly recommended and I encourage you visit Union Jack Tavern at Festival Mall.
Starting August 29 up to 30, Mindbuilders Preschool located along Tropical Avenue in BF International, Barangay BF International-CAA, Las Piñas City, will accept all kinds of plastic from anyone who wishes to donate to them.
In their August 7 Facebook page post, the preschool asked readers and potential donors to make sure the plastic they intend to give are clean and segregated between soft and hard plastics. Mindbuilders’ technology partner in the upcoming activity is Envirotech Waste Recycling, Inc.
To put things in perspective, Mindbuilders Preschool defined soft and hard plastics as follows:
SOFT PLASTICS – residual plastics like candy wrappers, sando bags, plastic labo, straws, etc.
HARD PLASTICS – like broken appliance bits, toys, the bottles the junk shops won’t take, takeout containers (clean please), etc.
Anyone who wishes to donate plastic materials to the school should visit them at 168 Tropical Avenue, BF International, Las Piñas City. You may contact them at mobile number 0927-2062506 and landline 825-7419.
If you have lots of plastic material at your home or your business establishment that you wish to get rid of, this activity is your chance. Mark your calendars for August 29 and 30.
About Mindbuilders Preschool
Mindbuilders Preschool is a Multiple Intelligence school located at 168 Tropical Avenue BF International Las Piñas City. It was established in 2002 and is accredited by the Department of Education. The preschool is also an active member of the Las Pinas Private Schools Association. To date, Mindbuilders Preschool established itself with not only good quality education but also worked with its students on several social responsibility projects. The schools prides itself in having strong home and school collaboration. The bond built with families is even carried beyond the child’s preschool years – evidence that Mindbuilders Preschool is more than just a learning institution.
Recently at the developing community of Masville in Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City, a 21-year-old man died by suicide by hanging himself to death in a residence. The reason? Because he broke up with his girlfriend.
This was revealed to me by Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) chairperson Mariel Tumang during my exclusive interview with her on the topic of youth suicide.
To put things in perspective, Tumang stated that the age definition of youth under the Reformed SK system is 15 to 30-years-old. The guy who took his life is therefore identified as a youth and was already working. On July 20, Tumang attended the man’s funeral at his family residence and the experience reminds her that the SK has a responsibility to ensure that youth suicides would be prevented.
“We had one project with Kagawad Rocel Espino who handled the barangay committee on education which includes youths. The project she created was the youth camp and it was organized at a local school,” Tumang said. “Many youths attended and they shared problems and concerns. We at the SK will adapt that kind of project.”
In preparation for the planned youth camp, the BFSK chairperson and the kagawads will have to do some research as well as make presentations in seminars. A youth orientation activity done by Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Espino was held recently which educated many youth participants. This, of course, sets a model of guidance for the BFSK as part of their preparation for the planned youth camp which, as of this writing, still has no date nor a venue finalized.
“We also have the mental health awareness counseling program planned at the SK. Right now we are still discussing as to when we could organize it,” Tumang stated. “I really want to organize the mental health awareness program and youth camp soon as I learned many helpful lessons from a seminar at Paranaque City Hall.”
The said seminar was about mental health awareness and by participating in it, Tumang said she realized the many factors that contribute to suicide such as depression, insecurity, uncertainty and the like. Even words can hurt a person and even cause him or her to get depressed.
“That was a very engaging seminar the discussions were very in-depth. I learned so much from it and I believe we can really help the local youths,” she said.
Tumang added that Kagawad Espino taught her that youths struggle as they grow up and get educated. The struggles include being unable to open up and speak out about their concerns, being fearful about others judging them, and the like. There are also youths who are a lot more vulnerable or more sensitive than meets the eye.
“Because words can be painful, some jokes cracked at youths hurt them very deep inside reaching to the point of cracking under social pressure, becoming stressed or, even worse, they begin to think about suicide,” Tumang said.
To put suicide in perspective, it was reported in Business Mirror that in the year 2012, a total of 2,550 cases of suicides (all ages) in the Philippines were registered according to Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Herminigildo Valle.
The BFSK chairperson plans to have the youth camp (and hopefully the health awareness counseling program) push through sometime this September. However pulling it off remains challenging due to budgeting, the time management of activities and getting valuable resources.
The Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay BF Homes is reaching out to generous members of the public who wish to donate to them (cash or in kind) for the purpose of organizing the youth camp and its campaign to prevent youths from dying by suicide.
To inquire or give something, communicate directly with BFSK Chairperson Mariel Tumang at Barangay BF Homes hall along Elsie Gatches street in Parañaque City.
Yet another coffee shop of Starbucks opened in the Alabang area in Muntinlupa City very recently. Specifically, this is about the one that opened at the ground floor of One Griffinstone located along Commerce Avenue corner Spectrum Midway in Filinvest City.
Very recently, out of curiosity, I visited to take a close look.
Like the other new Starbucks coffee shops I visited recently, the One Griffinstone branch has a nice interior and more notably, it’s got views of the immediate surroundings.
When it comes to seating capacity, I counted fifty-one seats, including the stools. For the use of the common rest room, a code is required to be able to use it. The code is printed on the receipt of the Starbucks drink/food customers buy. If you need to use the toilet during your time at Starbucks One Griffinstone, do not throw away the receipt fast.
After receiving my drink, I sat down facing one side of the place looking at the Festival Mall in the distance. Then I realizing something…Commerce Avenue literally connects with four different Starbucks branches in Alabang.
Along Commerce Avenue (note: distances between the coffeeshops and the said road) are the Alabang Town Center branch, the One Griffinstone branch and Starbucks Reserve (part of Westgate) branch.
In a way, Commerce Avenue leads to the old Starbucks branch at Festival Mall. Coming from the direction of Ayala Alabang, one can drive to the said branch by reaching the end of the road entering the area of mall, turn right on a short road going to the open-air parking area (where the old Starbucks and Robinsons department store are).
Are these enough Starbucks branches in the Alabang area as a whole? That’s hard to figure out at this point in time but what is clear is that Alabang is a hot spot for the world’s largest coffee chain. Previously I visited another new Alabang branch of the coffee chain at Madison Galeries.
Check out and visit the Starbucks One Griffinstone branch if you have time.
A new school will soon rise in the Province of Cavite in 2020. This is the expected result of an agreement recently signed by Antel Land and Southville International School and Colleges (SISC) to establish what is called as the first globally accredited international school in General Trias, Cavite.
The said project is the eight international school to become part of the Southville Global Education Network (SGEN) and it will be located specifically in Antel Grand Village.
“We’re very happy to have Southville bring their expertise in providing world class education to Antel Grand Village. It a welcome addition to our exclusive and mixed use development in Cavite. It will benefit not only our growing residents but the surrounding communities as well. Southville is a top choice as it matches our discerning and exclusive demographic and is timely to support the rapid development of the Kawit-Gen Trias-Tanza growth corridor of Cavite,” Antel Land Vice President Kyle Lao declared.
Antel Grand Village is a high-end community located only 30 minutes away from Mall of Asia via the Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX). The village offers the comforts of a relaxed environment near the city and ensures that children receive an education that matches any institution in the world. AGV is described to be the first and only self-contained island community, south of Metro Manila, with over 170 hectares of carefully master planned residential villages, social and commercial districts, and a 1.7 hectare clubhouse, all in the midst of verdant scenery and riverside vistas.
Antel Grand Village could be the community that families, who are searching for a more relaxed environment away from Metro Manila’s traffic, might want to visit for new homes.
About Southville International School and Colleges (SISC)
Southville International School and Colleges is an internationally awarded education institution consistently producing students who are considered some of the best both in the Philippines and overseas. Southville has been awarded the Investors in People UK Gold award, ISO 9001:2015 certification, International Baccalaureate accreditation, Western Association of Schools and Colleges(WASC) accreditation, School of the future by DepEd, and many more. Just in 2019, Southville students have been accepted into the Top-10 Ranked Universities in the world such as Imperial College London, received scholarship offers from universities in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom and a Southville alumni Sean Borja was ranked the #1 new lawyer in the 2018 Philippine Bar Exam. Southville is also the school of choice of several well-known personalities such as actresses Jodi Sta. Maria, Heaven Peralejo, Winwyn Marquez, and Liza Soberano. Leaders from the business sector, government, and the expat community trust Southville with one of the most important decisions in their lives – the education of their children.
About Antel Group of Companies
Since 1986, Antel Group of Companies has been a pioneer in the Real Estate industry, with over 500 hectares of prime property being developed and landbanked. Being both land owner and developer, the company has grown a diverse portfolio ranging from horizontal and commercial developments, mid and high-rise residential buildings, corporate towers, malls and township communities. With over 30 years of experience and expertise, Antel Land guarantees the perfect place for Southville to expand its legacy as an academic institution adhering to the utmost global perspective of quality education.