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Makati City News October 2011

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by: icrd
Thursday, October 20, 2011 | 6:28 AM

The Makati Department of Public Safety (DPS) has issued a traffic advisory to alert motorists and the general public on road closures and alternative routes to be implemented starting October 31, Monday in line with the celebration of All Saints Day.

DPS Director Hermenegildo C. San Miguel said a traffic rerouting plan will take effect at 12 midnight on October 31 to ease the flow of traffic particularly at the vicinity of Manila South Cemetery, Makati Public Cemetery and Makati Catholic Cemetery.

At midnight of October 31, the following roads will be closed to vehicular traffic until November 1: Nicanor Garcia (Reposo), between J.P. Rizal Avenue and Kalayaan; Pililia, between JP Rizal Avenue and Kalayaan Avenue; JB Roxas, between JP Rizal Avenue and Kalayaan Avenue; Kakarong, between JP Rizal Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue; Montojo, between South Avenue and Zapote; Yague, between South Avenue and Zapote Street; Panama Street between South Avenue and Zapote Street; and Suez Street between South Avenue and Zapote Street.

To make way for the construction of Assistance Community Precincts and tents of barangays, local government units, health groups, non-government organizations, and other volunteers, the following roads will be closed starting 5am of October 31: South Avenue between JP Rizal Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue; Kalayaan Avenue between Zapote Street and Nicanor Garcia Street; and Vito Cruz Extension between Zapote Street and South Avenue. Also at 5am on the same day, JP Rizal Street will be made two-way from Pasong Tirad to Makati Avenue.

San Miguel also said the following roads will be open to motorists: Kalayaan Avenue from Reposo Street to Salamanca Street (Northside); Nicanor Garcia Street (Reposo) from Kalayaan to Metropolitan Avenue (Westside); Metropolitan Avenue from South Avenue to Nicanor Garcia Street (Northside); Ayala Extension from Malugay Street to the driveway near Toyota Bel-Air (Eastside); Metropolitan Avenue from South Avenue Extension to Pasong Tamo (Northside); Bagtikan Street from Kamagong to Guijo Street. Inner streets of Barangays Valenzuela, Sta. Cruz, and Olympia will be controlled by traffic enforcers of different barangays.

All motorists are advised to take alternative routes. Vehicles coming from Ayala Avenue Extension going to JP Rizal Avenue via South Avenue shall turn left to Metropolitan Avenue then turn right to Zapote Street or Pasong Tamo towards destination. Vehicles from Jupiter going to Pasong Tamo via Metropolitan Avenue shall turn left to Nicanor Garcia Street, right to Buendia Avenue, right to Ayala Avenue Extension, and left to Metropolitan Avenue towards destination. Those coming from Jupiter Street going to JP Rizal Avenue via Nicanor Garcia Street shall turn right to Kalayaan Avenue, left to Makati Avenue then left to JP Rizal Avenue.

San Miguel said DPS enforcers will be deployed to assist people flocking to the cemeteries and to manage traffic in the affected areas. Makati Police officers will also be deployed to keep peace and order during the solemn occasion.


by: icrd
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 | 6:58 AM

Over 400 homeless families previously residing in Makati as informal settlers are now enjoying the comforts of a livable community with sustainable livelihood at the GK Dreamland Ville housing project in Barangay Kaypian, San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan, following the partnership forged between the city government and Gawad Kalinga in 2009.

Launched in December 2008, the Makati-Gawad Kalinga (GK) Community Development Project to date is inhabited by a total of 413 families, with 172 GK housing units completed and 30 more units under construction.

Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay said that the city government remains firm in its commitment to the joint project made three years ago during the term of then Mayor and now Vice President Jejomar C. Binay.

“We remain committed to providing decent and affordable homes within a sustainable community for relocated families, helping them realize and appreciate the fact that shelter is more than just a roof over their heads,” Mayor Binay said.

Binay also called on the business sector and philanthropic individuals to be partners in the community project, which aims to contribute to poverty reduction and nation-building through the provision of decent shelter and sustainable livelihood opportunities to Makati’s less privileged sector.

Based on data from the Urban Development Department (UDD), total donations generated for the project has reached over P18 million as of June of this year. Among the biggest donors is the BDO Foundation with around P3 million in donations, aside from funding the construction of some 49 GK houses and a multi-purpose hall at the Dreamlandville. Over 100 BDO employees also rendered several hours of volunteer work to help in the construction of the houses.

To raise funds for the Makati GK community, the city government has entitled donors to a full or limited deduction on taxable income equivalent to the amount donated pursuant to National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, and a tax credit equivalent to ten percent of the donor's contributions, applicable to local taxes up to one year.

GK Dreamlandville is part of the 3.2-hectare property in Brgy. Kaypian acquired by the city government. The housing community is complete with electricity and water supply, a pre-school called GK Sibol School donated by the Meralco Foundation and manned by a volunteer teacher, at least four ongoing livelihood programs, with various people’s organizations formed by the residents who continue to benefit from welfare programs of the city government.

For inquiries about the project, those interested may contact Xenon Walde or Roger Rigonan at 870-1738/1739 or email at


Tuesday, October 18, 2011 | 06:48 AM
by: icrd

For the third straight year, Makati has earned the top slot in the National Achievement Test (NAT) in the high school level among the school divisions in the National Capital Region (NCR), the Department of Education-Makati said.

In a report to Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay, concurrent Dep-Ed NCR and DepEd-Makati superintendent Elena Ruiz said the city earned the highest average rating in this year’s NAT taken by second year public high school students in the NCR.

Binay said he was very pleased with the impressive showing of Makati public school students in the NAT. He said such achievements serve to validate and reward the continuing commitment of the city government to equipping the youth of Makati with quality education.

Makati has been consistently topping the NAT high school level for the last three years, specifically school years 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2010-2011. It also placed first in 2005 and 2006, and ranked second in 2007 and 2004.

Ruiz said based on the results released by the National Education Training and Research Center (NETRC), the division of Makati in the high school level got an overall rating of 53.62 per cent for English, Math, Science, Filipino, and Hekasi.

A breakdown of the data obtained from NETRC showed how Makati students fared in the three important key subject areas. It got the highest average rating in English with 54.19 per cent, followed by Mathematics and Science with 43.62 and 42.85 per cent, respectively.

In the elementary level, Makati ranked fourth overall among other schools division in the NCR with a 65.5 mean percentage score. Last year, it placed sixth with 67.41 percent average.

The NAT, which is administered by the NETRC, covers all grade six pupils and second year high school students in all public schools nationwide to gauge the academic competencies and mastery skills gained by the students throughout the school year. In 2004-2006, it covered all fourth year students.

Massive investments in education, which include yearly allocations for free books, uniforms, school supplies, scholarships, modern facilities and school buildings, have given Makati the distinction of being a trendsetter in public education.

Education has been a priority concern of the Makati government since 1986. A substantial portion of the yearly budget is allocated for the acquisition of modern facilities including computers, free textbooks and school supplies, bags, uniform and other incentives. New school buildings are constructed every year to accommodate Makati’s growing population.

For this year, the city government has allocated P1.8 billion to cover education expenses which include the total appropriation of P377 million for the purchase of educational materials for the free use of the city’s public elementary and high school students.


Monday, October 17, 2011 | 6:41 AM
by: icrd

Makati City, through the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC), has won the 2011 national search for the country’s Gawad KALASAG (Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan, Sariling Galing ang Kaligtasan) in the Highly Urbanized City category, keeping the title for two straight years now.

Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay congratulated MDRRMC for its efforts in making Makati the best in disaster preparedness and mitigation. He said that the city government’s disaster resiliency program and management has four components – mitigation, preparedness, response and rehabilitation.

“Rehabilitation may be the most difficult aspect since we cannot really know the actual impact of the worst disaster the city may experience. But with preparedness and mitigation, the impact of disaster and calamities can be dampened, and this is the thrust of my administration,” Mayor Binay said.

The mayor thanked the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) for giving recognition to the initiatives of the city government in disaster resiliency.

Makati City has continually planned and implemented disaster resiliency programs and activities for the safety of its people and infrastructures. It was named as one of ‘East Asia’s Climate Resilient Cities’ by the World Bank in 2008 for its environmental initiatives that address air, water and land pollution that degrade the environment. It was also named as “Role Model City” by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction on May 5, 2011 on UNISDRs campaign on making the cities resilient.

It currently spearheads the City-to-City Sharing Initiative for Disaster Risk Reduction under the World Bank-funded Global Facility For Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), also called the South-South Cooperation Programme. Through the project, Makati and its partner cities Kathmandu (Nepal) and Quito (Ecuador) will share with each other their best practices on Disaster Risk Reduction Management, Risk-Sensitive Land Use Planning, Emergency Management System, and Knowledge Management. The initiative aims for institutional strengthening of the DRR through knowledge dissemination, technical cooperation and resource sharing, and local level capacity building. The member cities will visit each other for a study and residency tours to gain in-depth knowledge of the practices of other cities.

Last May, the city government launched the Green Urban Design Center at the University of Makati to capacitate the barangays on the green agenda of the government. To date, 14 of the city’s 33 barangays have participated in GUDC workshops and have presented their own green designs for their respective communities.

Other related events hosted by Makati include the first UNDAC (United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination) Refresher Course in Asia-Pacific and an orientation seminar on Groundwater Management in partnership with National Water Resources Board (NWRB) and the Metro Manila Consortium on Urban Subsurface Environment Management for NCR LGUs.

The Makati Risk-Sensitive Urban Redevelopment Project that focused on Barangay Rizal is now well on its second phase with several workshops being conducted for barangay officials for the preparation of an updated evacuation plan route and traffic and road widening and rerouting, among others. Under the project, a study on the economic, social and infrastructural vulnerabilities of the community from 2008 to 2010 was conducted by the city together with the Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative (EMI), German Federal Foreign Affairs Office (for financial support through the Deutsches Komitee Katastrophenvorsorge), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Barangay Rizal leaders, and disaster resiliency experts.

Makati City had also been awarded as the Best Local Disaster Coordinating Council for Highly Urbanized City – National Level in 2006 and 2010. The City received a Plaque of Appreciation and cash reward for winning the national level last year. The cash incentive was used in disaster management programs and activities, barangay capacity building, as well as operations and trainings as required by the NDRRMC.

For six straight years from 2006 to 2011, Makati City has won the regional search since it joined the disaster preparedness and mitigation competition. It has achieved Hall of Fame status for winning the NCR level competition for three consecutive years.

The Gawad KALASAG National Selection Committee is composed of the Office of Civil Defense – National Headquarters, League of Cities, and DILG – Central Office. The final validation held last September 26 was attended by the following MDRRMC members: Liga ng Barangay, DES, MSWD, MAPSA, ICRD, DepEd – Makati, Red Cross – Makati, DILG – Makati, Makati Fire Department, Makati Police Department, and C3. The Gawad KALASAG competition has been ongoing for around a decade now under the auspices of the NDRRMC.

Servicing the unbanked

Sunday, October 16, 2011 | 11:05:15 PM

DAVE A. CORPIN, 23, and Elaine L. Darunday, 34, did not own savings accounts until this year. And yet the two live and work in Metro Manila, where banks and bank branches are densely clustered.

Mr. Corpin, a customer service representative at the Abenson appliance store, said his jobs before were temporary and the cash flows irregular. Ms. Darunday, who works as a nanny in Makati City, simply did not think of opening an account.

The two then stumbled on the Bank of the Philippine Islands’ (BPI) Easy Saver deposit product, which is geared towards Filipinos like them who earn relatively low yet regular incomes, and have now started to set aside a portion of their income each month as savings, saying these will come in handy during emergencies.

For BPI, the Easy Saver deposit product represents another financial innovation in the bank’s 160 years of existence. Yet, it also helps address two problems confronting the country today: a low savings rate and the lack of access to formal financial services for many Filipinos

Low savings rate

Data from the Asian Development Bank (ABD) show that the country’s gross domestic savings rate -- defined as gross savings as percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) -- stayed low at 18.7% in 2010 from 16.4% in 2000.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr., speaking during the launch of a savings product for children in early August, said that as of March, the 36 million accounts in the country’s banks held P5 trillion in deposits. Yet around 23 million or nearly two-thirds of these had balances of only P5,000 and below.

Savings are important in funding investments -- which are key to job creation, long-term growth and poverty reduction.

The Philippines has lagged behind its neighbors in mobilizing savings. China’s gross domestic savings, based on ADB data, was 53% in 2010; Singapore, 51.9%; Malaysia, 39.2%; Indonesia, 34.2%; Thailand, 33.4%; and Vietnam, 27%.

Not surprisingly, the country’s gross domestic capital formation of 20.5% of GDP in 2010, based on ADB data, was the lowest for this grouping.

The fact that many Filipinos don’t have access to banks can explain why the country’s gross domestic savings rate is very low. According to the BSP, only 26% of the Philippine adult population is “banked” or have access to formal financial services. A total of 610 or 37% of the 1,634 municipalities nationwide still don’t have banking offices.

The central bank cites the country’s archipelagic makeup as one reason for this. It is costly for banks to set up offices all over the country. Thus, not surprisingly, 50% of deposits are in banks in Metro Manila. People also feel intimidated by formal institutions, said Pia Roman-Tayag of the BSP’s Inclusive Finance Advocacy Staff.

Why is it important that the “unbanked” have access to formal financial services? Bangkok-based Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), which counts developing countries’ central banks as members, states on its website: “It is well-documented that access to savings accounts, insurance and other financial services is crucial to allow poor people to invest in their homes and small businesses, weather the impact of economic shocks, build up savings as financial cushions against unexpected events and manage uneven cash flows and seasonal incomes.”

The AFI, of which BSP Deputy Gov. Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. is a “policy champion” for mobile financial services and financial inclusion strategy, says an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide, or over half the world’s population, “do not have access to formal financial services, representing a huge untapped potential for economic and social development.”

With 74% of the country’s population unbanked, it is no wonder that Filipinos, when they do save, keep their money at home. Mr. Corpin said he did this, adding that his savings simply “slept.” Ms. Darunday said she also used to set aside money at home but this easily dissipated.

BPI gamble

To open an Easy Saver account, one needs to merely pay P50 for the ATM (automated teller machine) card and make a P200 initial deposit. To discourage withdrawals, depositors are charged P5 each time they withdraw from an ATM or P100 if over the counter. There is no minimum balance rule. If the deposits hit or exceed P1,000, these begin earning interest.

Mita B. Gozar, vice-president for personal banking, said BPI came up with the product in the course of thinking of ways to expand its market. The key, the bank found out, was to change the notion that banks are “upscale.”

“We shifted our focus from deposit volume to the customer,” Ms. Gozar said. “We asked ourselves, ‘who are we not serving or under-serving?’ We conducted a research and found that people save but some keep their savings at home or join ‘paluwagan’ (informal savings or insurance schemes) in the office.”

BPI did away with oft-cited hurdles to opening savings accounts: a high initial deposit and a high minimum monthly average daily balance. (Another BPI savings product, Express Teller Savings, requires a minimum deposit of P500 and a minimum monthly average daily balance of P3,000. Deposits must reach P5,000 for these to earn interest.)

The Easy Saver product was pilot-tested in late 2010 and launched nationwide in March. For a bank such as BPI -- the country’s third largest in terms of total assets and deposits -- it was a big gamble. “We are the only universal bank in the country that offers such a product,” Ms. Gozar claimed.

The BSP’s Ms. Roman-Tayag noted the BPI Easy Saver fits the central bank’s definition of microdeposits, which are not charged any dormancy fees. “This move, together with other such innovative products by other banks, promise to bring much-needed financial services to the currently unbanked,” she said.

Mobilizing savings

Mr. Corpin came to know of the Easy Saver product at work, after a co-employee at Abenson urged him to open an account. BPI, which has a branch at Walter Mart where the Abenson store that employs him is also located, held a promo for the product in March.

Mr. Corpin said his Easy Saver deposits were “more secure”, and he has promised himself he would make withdrawals only during emergencies. “I want to continue saving,” he said.

Ms. Darunday said a house helper at the building where she lives and works told her about Easy Saver. She said she and other nannies went to BPI’s branch at the Power Plant mall in Rockwell Center to open accounts.

Her employer had already told her she should start saving after she was forced to borrow money to pay for the medical expenses of her 16-year-old son who met an accident. “He told me the savings will come in handy during emergencies,” she recalled. “I now set aside my ‘extra’ income as savings. I don’t spend it.”

Maricris L. San Diego, BPI vice-president for deposits product management, claimed that Easy Saver accounts deposits were strong, “exceeding our expectations.”

The central bank, for its part, has said that it would continue to work on making the local financial system more inclusive.

In a speech to rural bankers in August, Mr. Tetangco said, “Financial inclusion is dear to the BSP. We see it as the means to expand access to financial services through multiple, innovative yet safe channels for more Filipinos, including -- and especially -- the previously unbanked.”

Makati cops undergo refresher course

by Jerome Carlo R. Paunan
PIA Press Release
Saturday, October 15, 2011

MAKATI CITY, Oct. 15 (PIA) -- Members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) assigned to the city received a refresher course on both Republic Act 9344, otherwise known as the “Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act,” and R.A. 9165 or the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act” recently.

The seminar, which aimed to update the policemen's core competencies, was conducted by the Makati Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MADAC).

In a statement, Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay said the activity was ‘timely and appropriate’ in light of the surge in crimes involving minors catching the attention of media and raised a gamut of reactions and opinions from the public, including a clamor for the amendment of R.A. 9344.

“I laud MADAC for its initiative to help our city police force learn and understand more about lawful procedures to be observed in dealing with juvenile delinquents. With the increasing involvement of minors in drug syndicates, our law enforcers should be well-versed with the relevant laws so as to avoid any violation or miscarriage of justice,” Binay said.

The mayor also thanked Judge Cristina F. Javalera-Sulit of the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 140, for having agreed to be the guest speaker at the seminar.

Binay said that through MADAC, the city government continues to wage war against illegal drug syndicates while, at the same time, actively promoting awareness among the youth about dangerous and illegal drugs that can ruin their lives. MADAC is headed by P/Supt. Jaime Santos, concurrently officer-in-charge of the Makati Police Department.

The seminar was organized jointly by the Legal Section of MADAC headed by OIC/chief Fred Ahriz M. Estorninos, and the Treatment, Rehabilitation and After Care Section headed by OIC/chief Orlina M. Mendoza.

MADAC, through its training and seminar committee, has pursued a massive campaign on Drug Awareness and Prevention in all school levels, which covers the parents, teachers, head supervisors, principals, and administrators.

Likewise, it has provided assistance to drug dependents who are willing to undergo rehabilitation, development, and training programs, and endorsed the participation of rehabilitated patients in livelihood trainings. (ICRD/RJB/JCP-PIA NCR)

Makati to develop greener communities

PIA Press Release
Friday, October 14, 2011

MAKATI CITY, Oct. 14 (PIA) -- The local government, through its Green Urban Design Center (GUDC) spearheaded a presentation that showcased green urban designs developed by six barangays recently.

In a statement, it said the participants comprised the second batch of trainees that underwent a six-day workshop at GUDC at the University of Makati.

GUDC is the first institution in the country that spearheads and advocates the development of green communities and upgrading of the physical environment and infrastructures.

Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay said the barangay that will be selected as having the best green urban design will receive a P2-million prize to be used as initial funding in its implementation of the design.

“We are very pleased with the green designs presented by the first two batches of barangays that participated in the workshops at the Green Urban Design Center. It is clear they learned much from their training, based on how well they have integrated green designs into existing and planned infrastructures to make green landscapes and communities,” Binay said.

Binay also thanked the University of the Philippines College of Architecture graduate school for lending its expertise on the green building concept to the project.

The mayor said GUDC is a legacy of Makati City to the country that is envisioned to empower other barangays and local governments, through offering them similar workshops and training, to transform their localities into green communities as well.

The participants in the second cycle of the barangay green urban designs project were officials of Barangays Cembo, Pio del Pilar, San Antonio, Southside, Sta. Cruz and Pitogo. They attended a six-day workshop from August 27 to September 24 with resource speakers from the city government, University of Makati, University of the Philippines College of Architecture, and consultants and experts. The barangay officials were briefed on barangay governance, research, urban design, good governance, visualizing the barangay, managing and financing a green public space, disaster resilient urban design, marketing, public private partnership, as well as fieldwork.

Green urban design standards set for the barangays include being implementable within a given time-frame, defining the site well and defending the selection, defining the problem clearly and addressing it, and instilling pride among the residents, among others.

The designs presented included modification of existing structures or building new ones that incorporate green features (such as plants, trees, natural lighting and ventilation), income generation, budget projections, financial sourcing, and utilization of spaces.

The participants in the first cycle of the project were Barangays Comembo, East Rembo, Olympia, Pembo, Poblacion, Rizal, West Rembo, and Valenzuela. Their officials attended the workshops from May 7 to June 10 this year.

Participants of both cycles were able to conceptualize green designs through the assistance and guidance of architects from the city government and the graduate school of the College of Architecture of the University of the Philippines. More workshops will be conducted for the other barangays of Makati City.

GUDC was created by the city government in line with the Development Agenda for the 21st Century (Makati21) to make the city a livable and healthy environment. The center was launched on May 6, 2011 as a component of the College of Governance and Public Policy of the University of Makati.(ICRD/RJB/JCP-PIA NCR)

Malaysian Prince to speak in Makati on malaria, dengue Oct. 15

Thursday, October 13, 2011 | 12:30 PM

Malaysia’s Prince, His Royal Highness Tunku Naquiyuddin Inbi Tuanku Ja’afar ,will speak at a forum in Makati City on October 15 on malaria and dengue control.

Tunku, son of the 10th king of Malaysia, His Royal Highness Tuanku Ja’afar, will speak at the Ateneo Business Club’s (ABC) forum on October 15 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Ateneo Professional Schools Auditorium, Rockwell Drive, Makati City.

During the “AGSB Forum on Malaria and Dengue Control through Sustainable Social Business," a light blue ribbon sign will be launched as a symbol of the fight against dengue.

During the forum, Tunku is expected to share his insights on how to control two of the world’s scourges- malaria and dengue - through his innovative R.E.A.P (Reduction, Education, Awareness, Bite Protection) model.

A former diplomat, Tunku currently holds investments in diverse businesses covering biotechnology, healthcare, mining, manufacturing, and power.

A keen environmentalist, Tunku founded in 1995 the Yayasan Tunku Naquiyaddin (YTN), a pro-active foundation envisioned to address special interest areas, which include well-being, sports and environment.

The all-time high 46,171 recoded cases of dengue with deaths in Malaysia last year, prompted the Yayasan Tunku Naquiyuddin (YTN) Foundation to launch its well-being program “Stop Dengue Mission."

The program informs school children and the general public about dengue prevention through an online educational platform.

YTN is bringing to the Philippines its anti-dengue mosquito initiatives through the "CounterStrike Lamok" dengue advocacy geared towards grassroots education about eliminating dengue-causing mosquitoes right at their source.

Counterstrike Lamok Dengue advocacy is a collective effort of YTN, ENTOGENEX and its Philippine partner Renew Philippines. - VVP, GMA News

Another controversy

HIDDEN AGENDA By Mary Ann Ll. Reyes
The Philippine Star
Updated Wednesday, October 12, 2011 | 12:00 AM

The Lopez-owned First Philippine Industrial Corp. (FPIC), which has yet to recover from public criticisms for the petroleum leak in Bangkal, Makati that adversely affected some 250 residents from the West Tower Condominium, is again at the center of another complaint, for allegedly dumping fuel- contaminated water into the sewage of the city which could affect two other neighboring cities.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the multi-agency Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB) had earlier penalized the FPIC a total of P24.2 million for the petroleum leak that seeped through the ground water in the said barangay starting on July 12, 2010 when the leak was discovered until it had been plugged. Barangay officials and condominium residents led by Architect Robert Dimayuga had complained last Aug. 5 with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that the Lopez-owned FPIC and its contractor have been discharging contaminated water from the basement of West Tower building directly into the Makati sewage system.

The Lopezes own 60 percent of the FPIC which has an exclusive 25-year contract to transport oil products from Batangas to Pandacan oil depot in Manila through pipelines until 2017. Shell Petroleum Co. Ltd. (UK) owns the other 40 percent.

West Tower consultant Sonny de Castro said the contaminated water being siphoned by FPIC contractor Bensan Industies Inc. from the basement of the 22-story condominium is directly dumped into Estero Tripa de Galina which flows through cities Makati, Pasay and Parañaque.

Worse, the residents said, FPIC contractors which treat toxic waste water, the Waste Solutions and Management Services and CH2MHill, are not authorized to treat toxic waste. Surprisingly they said, DENR has been defending the questionable actions of the FPIC and its contractors.

The P24-million penalty was for the violation of Section 27 of the Clean Water Act (Republic Act 9275) which prohibits “discharging, injecting, or allowing to seep into the soil or sub-soil any substance in any form that would pollute the groundwater” which carries a fine of P200,000 per day.

If found to have indeed been dumping contaminated water into the estero and sewage system, FPIC would be again assessed P200,000 per day since the violation would be found to have started as complained by the residents, DENR-PAB Secretary Jonas Leones said.

The residents are now calling on Gina Lopez, who is on top of efforts to gather 10 million signatures to stop mining in Palawan to protect the environment, to instead focus her efforts right here, to correct alleged wrongdoings by a company partly owned by her family.

Binay orders intensified flood control

posted by : icrd
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | 6:13 AM

MAKATI CITY, Oct. 11 - To maintain fast receding time of floods during typhoons, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay has asked the city’s Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) to intensify the conduct of its dredging operations on the city’s waterways and creeks.

Binay said he had ordered the DEPW to focus on better flood management and continue to step up efforts to clear garbage materials clogging waterways and creeks in order to maintain the fast flood receding time now being observed in low-lying and flood-prone barangays in the city.

“Since stagnant flood waters can give rise to the spread of dengue, leptospirosis and other water-borne diseases, we should prioritize the cleaning up of waterways and drainage to ensure that floods will recede at a faster rate than before,” Binay said.

Identified low-lying and flood-prone barangays in the city include Olympia, Singkamas, Sta. Cruz,

Tejeros, Carmona, Kasilawan, La Paz, Palanan, San Antonio, Pio del Pilar, and San Isidro in District I; and Guadalupe Nuevo, Guadalupe Viejo, Pinagkaisahan, Pitogo, Cembo, South Cembo, West Rembo, Comembo, East Rembo, Pembo, and Rizal in District II.

According to the DEPW, these barangays have registered improved flood receding time of 10 to 15 minutes from about an hour before. On the orders of the mayor, dredging operations have been made a year-round activity in the city to make sure that the creeks and vital waterways in Makati are place under closed monitoring.

Normally during heavy rains, streets in Makati’s low-lying barangays would come under 0.30 meter-deep floods and it would take about an hour for the floodwater to recede. But with the use of modern equipment and efficient monitoring system, the city government has succeeded in reducing the receding time of floods that occur in the city’s streets.

The DEPW has continuously done cleaning and monitoring of all the creeks identified within the boundaries of Makati. Under their tight monitoring are the creeks of Amorsolo, Maricaban, Medina, PNR and Makati Diversion Channel, and barangays Singkamas, Kasilawan, and Carmona in District I, and Maya and Charlie creeks in barangay Rizal in District II. They are also monitoring the creeks in District I, including Zanzibar, Camachile, Calatagan, and Bangkal, and creeks in District II including Zyris, Paloma, Target Range, and 21st Avenue.

Aside from dredging operations, all city roads have been concreted and are continuously being maintained. Drainage improvement which has been 100 percent completed in District I and 93 percent in District II also contributed to the reduction of flooding incidence and faster receding time in low-lying areas in the city.

Makati hosts disaster summit for youth

by Jerome Carlo R. Paunan
PIA Press Release
Monday, October 10, 2011

MAKATI CITY, Oct.10 (PIA) -- The local government continues to involve youth participation in its disaster risk reduction initiatives and programs.

Proof of this will be the conduct of the Makati Youth for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Summit (MY DRRMS) together with United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) on October 13 at the University of Makati.

The Summit coincides with UN’s celebration of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction with the theme “Making Children and Youth Partners in Disaster Risk Reduction” and slogan “Step Up for Disaster Risk Reduction.”

The UN Children's Charter “An Action for Disaster Risk Reduction for Children by Children” presents five essential points: a) schools must be safe and education must not be interrupted; b) protection of children must be a priority before, during, and after a disaster; c) children have the right to participate in and gain access to the information they need for DRR; d) community infrastructure must be safe, and relief and reconstruction must help prevent future risk; and e) risk reduction must reach the most vulnerable people.

In a statement, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay said that children should be aware about disaster preparedness and response at an early age so that they can already participate in mitigation activities at home and school.

“The children will be the future of country and if their minds are molded into the proper mindset on the environment, we can be assured that we will have a greener future and environment,” Binay said.

All public and private elementary schools, 65 in all, and 41 high schools in Makati will participate in the whole day event. (ICRD/RJB/JCP-PIA NCR)

DPWH orders contractor to do asphalting job right at Makati flyover

Sunday, October 09, 2011 | 3:47 AM

Starting next Friday, the contractor in the rehabilitation of Osmeña flyover crossing Buendia Avenue in Makati City will re-do the asphalting work there, on orders of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson, who was not satisfied with the asphalting, had ordered contractor Tokwing Construction to remove and replace the asphalt overlay on the flyover, at the contractor’s own expense.

"The repairs, subject to weather condition, are scheduled to start on October 14 and are expected to be completed in two weeks' time," the DPWH said in a statement.

According to the DPWH, pavement failure started to occur within days from opening the flyover to vehicular traffic.

But it noted the contractor has expressed willingness to abide by the order and undertake total replacement.

Earlier, Singson directed the tightening of quality control and assurance in project implementation, with contractors having to assure their contracted projects are according to plans and specifications.

The contractors are also held responsible if defects occur within the warranty period. — ELR, GMA News

Police reshuffles loom over killings by motorcycle-riding men

Friday, October 08, 2011 | 08:52 AM

Reshuffles in some police stations loom over recent killings and crimes involving motorcycle-riding men, Philippine National Police chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome said Saturday.

While there no direct connection between motorcycle-riding men and recent killings, Bartolome said such crimes indicate negligence by some station commanders.

“We may have to beef up police visibility and if necessary, replace some station commanders who are not performing as well as they are expected to," he said in an interview on dzBB radio.

He also hinted at new strategies for preventing further crimes by motorcycle-riding men.

Last Wednesday, motorcycle-riding men shot dead a Makati City Hall employee in broad daylight in the city.

The victim, Mila Dumaguit, was declared dead on arrival at the Ospital ng Makati.

Wounded in the incident was van driver Jun del Pilar, who sustained a gunshot wound in the stomach.

On Thursday, one of at least three members of a robbery gang victimizing motorists and motorcycle riders were killed in a predawn encounter with police in Manila. — LBG, GMA News

BCDA to boost public transport

Friday, October 7, 2011 | 3:46pm

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines — The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) is planning to boost national transportation by constructing rail and development projects in two major areas, officials revealed Friday.

The BCDA plans to construct the Makati-Taguig-Pasay Monorail Alignment, the express rail that would lead to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark Freeport and Clark Airport’s expansion project.

BCDA officials said the monorail project would help alleviate the worsening traffic situation within Metro Manila area.

At the same time the project will give travelers coming from the National Capital Region (NCD) easier access to the DMIA in Clark Freeport.

The project would also address the growing demand for efficient mass transport systems over the next five years.

The plan aims to link the monorail system with the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3, the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line1, and the Philippine National Railways (PNR).

The plan also aims to link DMIA and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) by using the alignment of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and the PNR.

BCDA is also exploring the possibility of financing the said projects through public-private partnership (PPP) for their implementation.

Manila Water: Service cut to hit Marikina, Manila areas Thursday

Thursday, October 06, 2011 | 09:27 AM

Some areas in Makati and Marikina Cities may be without water service starting 10 p.m. Thursday due to the cut-and-plug operation of a pipeline in Marikina and replacement of a line meter in Manila.

Water concessionaire Manila Water said the affected areas include Malanday in Marikina City and Agata and some villages in San Andres Bukid in Manila.

"East Zone customers residing in portions of Marikina and Manila will briefly experience water service interruption when the Company simultaneously undertakes the cut and plug of a pipeline at Sampaguita Village, Malanday, Marikina, the replacement of a line meter along San Andres Bukid and step testing along Agata, Manila," it said in an advisory on its website.

In Marikina, Manila Water said the interruption may start in Malanday at 10 p.m. Thursday, with water service possibly resuming at 3 a.m. Friday.

As for Manila, it said the interruption may start 10 p.m. Thursday and last until 4 a.m. Friday. The affected areas in Manila include:

  • Agata
  • Barangay 798, 796, 799, 803 and 802



by: icrd
Wednesday, October 05, 2011 | 07:15 AM

Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay Jr., today expressed sadness and shock over the fatal shooting of an employee of the Makati Social Welfare Department in barangay Valenzuela early Wednesday morning.

Binay instructed city police chief, P/Superintendent Jaime Santos, to explore all angles in its investigation to identify and arrest the perpetrators.

Calling the fatal incident unfortunate and senseless, Binay said he considers Mila Dumaguit, officer-in-charge of the MSWD’s Logistics and Finance Management Services, as family, having known her since he was a young boy.

“I am saddened and shocked by the untimely death of Mila. I sincerely convey my prayers and condolences to her bereaved family. She does not deserve to leave us this way,” Binay said.

City Administrator and concurrent Makati Social Welfare Department chief Marjorie de Veyra, the victim’s immediate head, could not contain her grief, saying she lost a very dependable co-worker.

“I still cannot accept Mila’s sudden death. All the years that I have known her, she has proven to be very efficient and dependable. She truly cares for the people of Makati. I know I speak for all her co-workers at City Hall when I say I truly hope that she will be given justice," de Veyra said.

Dumaguit has just boarded an L300 van to report to city hall at about 6:45 A.M., when two men on board a motorcycle approached the vehicle and started shooting at her and her driver. Her driver is still in the hospital.

The shooting took place just outside the victim’s residence on Tanay Street, corner Osmena Highway in barangay Valenzuela.

The police was able to secure a CCTV footage of the shooting incident from a neighbor.

Night of fragrant crystals

By: Maurice Arcache
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 | 11:56 PM

The Philippine edition of Town & Country under Summit Media celebrated its fourth anniversary by honoring five “Wonder Women who have contributed tremendously to their respective fields of excellence,” said editor in chief Yvette P. Fernandez.

The honorees were Geraldine Javier (visual arts); Winnie Monsod (education and media); Josie Natori (fashion); Socorro Ramos (business); and Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel (politics).

Fernandez said the awards were “an avenue where we can honor smart, strong, accomplished women who have excelled in their chosen vocations.”

In its new issue, Town & Country asks its readers about their favorite things, for the mag’s “Simply the Best” list.

Fernandez also sits down with Gracita Tolentino Sieber to talk about her interesting life as spouse to the Swiss ambassador, dahlings.

Check out Town & Country on

Abitare Internazionale opens

Abitare Internazionale has opened its newly expanded and spanking 688-sqm showroom and launched three new high-end furniture brands—B&B Italia’s Maxalto, Flou and German-made Walter Knoll Home.

Young Makati Mayor Jun-Jun Binay led the ribbon-snipping with Taguig Rep. Freddie Tiñga and wife Kaye.

Others present during the inaugural of the renovated store included mega TV star and top endorser Kris Aquino; contemporary design pioneer Lor Calma; Italian Embassy charges d’ affaires Alfonso Tagliaferri; socialite Katrina Ponce-Enrile; interior designer and architect Johnny Ramirez; businesswoman Rosa Hu; Abitare VP Agerico Paras with Filaine Tan; Jeanne Wee and Arturo Go.

Also present were BB Italia area manager for Asia Samanta Cunselmo, Giusi Salvade of Flou, and Giuseppe Peditto and Nils Crusius of Walter Knoll.

Hotshot invitees circulated while nibbling on Cibo Di M of Margarita Fores and sipping like forever the chilled Moët & Chandon champagne. Music was provided by Benjo Marquez. The floral design was by Doltz Pilar. Yummy Cioccolato giveaways were by Villa del Conte of Padova, Italy.

The Abitare Internazionale showroom is located at Crown Tower, HV de la Costa Street, Salcedo Village, Makati.

Fragrance from Swarovski

Aura, the latest fragrance of Swarovski and the Clarins Fragrance Group, was launched in impeccable style at the perfume mecca, Art of Scent, dahlings, at Resorts World.

The sparkling new perfume was introduced with the brand’s mini-collection of makeup jewels, such as lip gloss and highlighter, which feature micronized Swarovski crystals and iridescent crystal shine powder, palanggas.

Each designer turned to the star of stars of the evening, Aura, for inspiration. Couture designer Jun Escario unveiled a seductively cut gown embellished with fine crystals sewn on in masterfully composed linear patterns. Jewelry artisan Nicole Whisenhunt showed a dazzling bib necklace encrusted with crystals, jewels and semi-precious stones. Bag designer Amina Aranaz-Alunan displayed a satin-covered clutch sprinkled with a generous dose of shiny crystals for all to admire.

The event, hosted by Joey Mead, featured a quick product introduction by Mariless Villamar, brand manager of Swarovski Fragrances.

Guests continued the sparkling night by going to the after-party at Opus.

Aura by Swarovski, the tantalizing new fragrance created by acclaimed perfumers Jean-Pierre Bethouart and Fabrice Pellegrin, is contained in a bottle embellished with dazzling Swarovski crystals. Fragrance and make-up jewels are available at Art of Scent, located at Resorts World Manila and at SM Department Stores.


by : icrd
Monday, October 03, 2011 | 02:01 AM

Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay today (October 3) ordered the release of some 2,500 bags of relief goods to flood victims in three (3) Bulacan towns as he instructed the City Social Welfare Department to keep a 27/4 monitoring for dispatch of all other assistance to typhoon-affected residents.

The relief goods are on top of the rescue operations extended by the City to residents of Paombong, Calumpit, Bulacan, Philippines|Calumpit]] and Hagonoy towns. The bags contain canned goods, packs of coffee, sugar and milk, among others.

Mayor Binay last Friday afternoon also ordered the dispatch of the city’s rescue team to save residents who were trapped in various areas during the height of flooding that submerged several towns of Bulacan in the aftermath of Typhoon Pedring.

“We could not just watch the hapless victims, especially the elderly and the children, when we have the means and capability to extend assistance and even help save lives and property in times of calamities such as this,” Mayor Binay said.

The city rescue team was able to rescue and evacuate about 100 households, composed mostly of stricken and hungry family members, who were trapped at the roof of their houses and in different elevated areas.

Meanwhile, the mayor reiterated his instructions to all city departments and agencies concerned for a continued monitoring and update not only of the weather conditions but of all other possible incidents of calamity where the city’s resources can help bring relief.

Makati observes World Rabies Day

by Jerome Carlo R. Paunan
PIA Press Release
Sunday, October 02, 2011

MAKATI CITY, Oct. 2 (PIA) -- The local government on Sunday observed World Rabies Day and provided pet animals and pet owners with various services and activities to mark the occasion.

According to Dr. Vivien C. Manalastas, City Veterinarian, the celebration started off with a city-sponsored Holy Mass followed by the blessing of pets.

Manalastas said the event was followed by the official introduction of "Bantay," a mascot that promotes responsible pet ownership, to the public.

The city also formally opened "Bantay's World" along Paseo de Roxas that features sponsors’ booths and offers fun and adventure to children and their pets for free.

She said children only need to register at the registration area to obtain their “passports” and enter Bantay’s World.

She said the passports will be stamped in all participating booths visited by the children and their pets. At the end of the adventure, petport authorities will check if the passport has complete stamps, which will give them access to Bantay’s house where they can get their loot bags.

Simultaneously, free pet consultation and anti-rabies vaccination were provided at the Ayala Triangle along Paseo de Roxas.

Likewise, the city government through the Makati Veterinary Services Office (MVSO) conducted a series of activities in the barangays, including free anti-rabies vaccination drive, deworming, consultation, informative talk on Responsible Pet Ownership and Dog Bite Prevention.

Since 2005, the event has been celebrated in various barangays in Makati to push people to be more responsible pet owner, so there will be fewer dogs in the streets maltreated, neglected and prone to animal diseases.

Similarly, World Rabies Day highlights the impact of human and animal rabies and promotes how to prevent and stop the disease by combating it in animals. (RJB/JCP-PIA NCR)

Makati launches mascot 'Bantay' for World Animal Day

by Jerome Carlo R. Paunan
PIA Press Release
Saturday, October 01, 2011

MAKATI CITY, Oct. 1 (PIA) -- The local government is set to launch its own mascot to help spread the message of responsible pet ownership in line with the city's observance of World Animal Day on October 2.

The launching will take place on Sunday, at the Ayala Triangle Park, according to Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay.

Binay, a strong advocate of the worldwide movement for animal welfare and rabies control, is also inviting the public to join the celebration with its theme, “Bantay: Home at Last!”

“We encourage everyone, most especially pet lovers and pet owners, to participate in the exciting activities we have lined up for this Sunday’s event. Let us show the world that Filipinos are compassionate people who know how to treat animals right.... through responsible pet ownership,” Binay said.

The mayor said the mascot “Bantay” is envisioned to serve as an ambassador for animals and a society free from diseases originating from animals.

The mayor also thanked the city’s partners in organizing the event, namely, New Marketlink, Pfizer, Granny Goose-Tortillos, Virtusio, Nestle Philippines, Pet Food Institute, and Philippine Society for Wildlife Research and Conservation. (RJB/JCP-PIA NCR)

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