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Quezon City News March 2012

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Contents

‘SC ruling on prime Quezon City land blow to land titles’

By Marlon Ramos (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Registered owners of more than half of the land in Metro Manila may lose their properties as a result of a recent Supreme Court ruling that the “sale certificates” of former friar lands that lacked the signatures of prewar government officials should be deemed void, a senior justice of the court said.

In a 23-page dissenting opinion, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said the Supreme Court’s March 6 decision in the ownership dispute involving the Manotoks and Barques over the P4-billion Piedad Estate in Quezon City would render millions of residents homeless.

“This is a disaster waiting to happen—a blow to the integrity of our Torrens system [of titles] and the stability of land titles in this country,” Carpio said.

“Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of landowners would surely be dispossessed of their lands in these areas,” he said.

With a split vote of 8-7, the tribunal upheld its Aug. 24, 2010, decision that awarded the ownership of the 1,282-hectare of lands to the national government.

Chief Justice Renato Corona, who is facing impeachment in the Senate, agreed with the majority ruling written by Associate Justice Martin Villarama Jr.

Court asks homeowners, QC gov’t to submit memoranda on tax case

by Jonathan L. Mayuga

THE QUEZON CITY government and the Alliance of Quezon City Homeowers Association, Inc. (AQCHAI) had been directed by a trial court on Wednesday to submit their memoranda regarding the disputed imposition of socialized housing tax on certain real properties, the counsel for the city government said. "Parties were required [by the QC Regional Trial Court Branch 80] to file their respective memorandum within 15 days in connection to the issuance or denial of the application for preliminary injunction," Karlo L. Calingasan, a lawyer at the City Legal Office, said yesterday, citing the order issued by Judge Charito B. Gonzales during the hearing held last Wednesday.

This order was confirmed by the staff at the trial court.

The case stemmed from the QC government issuance in October last year of City Ordinance SP-2095, which imposed a 0.5% socialized housing tax on real properties with an appraised value of over P100,000.

The additional tax would be used to finance the housing program for the informal settlers in the city, according to the city government.

AQCHAI countered the ordinance by filing a petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) with a writ of preliminary injunction at the trial court earlier this month.

The trial court, however, junked the request for the TRO, or stay order, saying the homeowners would not stand to suffer any irreparable and irreversible damage with the implementation of the ordinance.

The court, instead, proceeded by holding a hearing last Wednesday for the request for preliminary injunction.

According to the trial court, the case will be submitted for resolution after the parties submit their respective memoranda.

DENR allots P50M for upland irrigation

by Jonathan L. Mayuga

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is allocating P50 million this year to put up water and irrigation facilities in upland areas in support of the Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) program. 

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje made the announcement during the press launch of the annual Earth Day celebrations at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City on Wednesday.  Earth Day is celebrated every April 22.

In the Philippines, Earth Day will be highlighted by 100 different activities highlighting the initiatives of various stakeholders, including the national government, local government units, religious groups, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), and women, youth and student sectors to help save the planet.

The annual celebration is being spearheaded by Earth Day Network Philippines Inc. in partnership with the DENR.

Paje underscored the need to provide communities in upland areas with water for their domestic consumption and for irrigation purposes, noting that the government’s reforestation program is also a poverty-reduction program being implemented in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The CBFM program, he said, aims to empower communities in upland areas with various green jobs and livelihood opportunities to lessen their dependence on the forest. He cited for instance that fuel consumption in upland areas is mainly in the form of fire wood, which means cutting down trees. 

The ram pumps to be put up in strategic upland areas, he said, will be complemented by projects to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in upland areas, such as the construction of water impounding facilities to help save water and prevent flooding in low-lying areas.

Paje said the DENR will adopt the ram pump technology to provide upland communities with accessible and reliable community water systems using the hydraulic ram pumps and storage tanks, which they can use for their everyday household needs as well as for irrigation.

The EDNP is implementing the Agos Ram Pump Project in partnership with Coca-Cola Foundation and the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc. (AIDFI).  The on-going project aims to install 100 ram pumps by 2013.

The technology does not use electricity or fuel, but uses the force of the water from the surface water source upstream to the storage tank downstream, assuring people in communities with clean water.

Paje, who was guest speaker during the launching of Earth Day celebrations, cited the contribution of NGOs and LGUs in raising the level of awareness and consciousness of the people about the environment.

In his brief speech, Paje said the DENR is determined to achieve its annual target of planting indigenous and fruit-bearing trees to cover as many open, denuded forests under the National Greening Program (NGP).

DAP confers master’s degree title to military officials

(PAE/PIA-Central)

QUEZON CITY, Mar. 28 (PIA) -- A total of 125 officers were conferred with the degree of Master in Public Management major in Development Security (MPM-DevSec) by the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) in a graduation ceremony held at the AFP General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The graduates were composed of officers from the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force. Foreign military officials from the Malaysian Armed Forces and the Indonesian Army were also part of the graduating officers of the said program.

MPM is a joint program of the Development Academy of the Philipines and the Armed Force of the Philippines Command and General Staff College (AFPCGSC). This program, the first of its kind in Asia, is designed for key officials in the military trained for future leadership posts in the Armed Forces.

The graduation ceremony was attended by Deputy AFP Chief of Staff MGen. Gregorio E. Macapagal.

Paje instructs MGB for more scholarship grants for geosciences courses

(RJB/AKG-PIA-NCR/DENR)

QUEZON CITY, March 27 (PIA) -- Environment and Natural Resources Sec.Ramon Paje directed the Mines and Geosciences Bureau to increase scholarship grants for geosciences courses to help in the geo-hazard mapping and assessment program of the government.

Paje issued the directive in an effort to encourage students to take up geosciences courses to beef up the country’s geologists, including mining and metallurgical engineers, an agency statement said.

“The past years saw a steady decline of geologists and mining and metallurgical engineers in the Mines and Geosciences Bureau for two reasons – one is due to their recruitment in the private sector or abroad which offer bigger salaries and two, due to a halt in DENR’s recruitment because of the rationalization program,” Paje said.

According to Paje, the bureau now only has a total of 88 geologists, with 120 vacant positions.

“The number of geologists who chose to stay and work with us is barely enough to handle the increasing work load particularly on geo-hazard mapping and assessment which has become a necessity due to climate change,” he said.

For this, Paje is reaching out to incoming college freshmen, particularly those graduating at the top of their class, to take advantage of DENR’s scholarship program.

According to him, there are currently 12 MGB scholars studying geology, mining engineering and metallurgical engineering in only four universities in the country offering such courses. These are the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City; Adamson University and Mapua University in Manila; Cebu Institute of Technology in Cebu City and University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City.

Aside from graduating high school students, Paje said the scholarship program is also open to current college students and qualified DENR personnel who wish to pursue a career in geosciences.

The MGB scholarship covers free tuition fees, monthly stipend of P3,000, and book allowance.

For those interested, they may inquire from the bureau’s scholarship committee at the central office of the MGB at North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.

QC launches faster business registration system

(RJB/AKG-PIA NCR/QC-PIO)

QUEZON CITY, March 26 (PIA) -- Quezon City is further simplifying the process of doing business in the city by cutting down by at least seven procedural steps the processing time of starting a new business in QC.

Mayor Herbert Bautista gave this assurance during the formal launching of the Philippine Business Registry (PBR) system at the QC Hall to provide a faster process for business registration in the city.

With the new system, the processing time to facilitate new business registration in Quezon City will be reduced to a mere 30 minutes.

Quezon City’s business registration system will be the first system to be protected by the PBR.

“We hope to increase the competitiveness ranking of Quezon City with the adoption of this new system,” said Bautista.

The Mayor also expressed optimism that the new system could increase business activities and investment opportunities for the city, including foreign direct investors.

The launching of the system also complements this year’s priority economic development thrusts of the Bautista administration.

Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo joined Mayor Bautista in launching the new system, which was held at the QC business-one-stop-shop located at the city’s business permits and licensing office.

“Napakahalaga po ng papel na ginagampanan ng lungsod Quezon sa pagpapalago at pagtataguyod ng kalakalan at pamumuhunan sa bansa (The role played by Quezon City in developing the trade and investment in the country is very important),” Domingo said.

PBR is a web-based system adopted by the national government to facilitate business-related transactions through the integration of the services of at least seven government agencies involved in business registration, such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Social Security System (SSS), Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG), and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to strengthen the government’s efforts to reduce corruption and red tape in the bureaucracy.

To implement the PBR system, the city government will be linking its very own BOSS simplification procedure, which was launched by Mayor Bautista in 2010 in the hope of cutting down the time, cost and steps for new business registration at the city level.

The scheme, launched by the city government in partnership with the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank and the Ateneo School of Governance, was described by Mayor Bautista as the city's contribution to the promotion of national productivity

Bautista underscored the importance of harnessing new technologies and systems for public convenience in availing of city services.

“Our goal is for more of our communication to be paperless and for more of our publics to be able to interact with the city government, from the comfort of their homes or offices,” he said.

QC Hall now with breastfeed station

By Cory Martinez

TO provide a venue for Quezon City Hall employees and visitors to nourish their babies even during office hours, the city government has put up a breastfeeding station within the city hall compound.

This was learned after Mayor Herbert Bautista and Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte have officially opened recently the breastfeeding station as part of the city’s celebration of Women’s Month and its campaign to promote breastfeeding among mothers and even in workplaces.

The new facility which is located at the inner ground floor of the legislative building can accommodate as many as 10 nursing moms at any given time. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For his part, Health Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa, who was invited as guest of honor, lauded the city government for the initiative, which underscores the benefits and advantage of breastfeeding as the normal, natural and preferred method of nourishing infants.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that babies should be breastfed exclusively for six months in order to give both mother and child the maximum health benefits.

To date, QC is one of the progressive cities that have adopted into ordinance the Breast Feeding Act of 1992.

Strong rains flood parts of QC

By Ricky Velasco, Henry Atuelan and Robert Mano (dzMM , ABS-CBNnews.com)

MANILA, Philippines – Several areas in Quezon City were flooded on Saturday due to strong rains.

According to dzMM, the corner of Baler and Judge Juan Luna in San Francisco Del Monte was rendered impassable because of the floodwaters.

Gutter-deep waters flooded part of Scout Tobias near Timog Avenue, as well as along Muñoz in Congressional Avenue.

Based on the monitoring of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Metro Base, the northbound section of the Aurora Boulevard underpass is impassable to all vehicles.

Weather forecaster Glaiza Escolla said the warm weather Saturday morning caused a local convection, triggering the afternoon rainshowers.

PAGASA said no weather disturbance is being monitored.

TESDA to hold jobs caravan in Metro Manila

(TESDA/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

QUEZON CITY, Mar 23 (PIA) -- The Technical Education and Skill Development Authority (TESDA) will hold mobile jobs bridging program in the different parts of the National Capital Region to reach out to TESDA Specialistas.

Dubbed “Trabaho Para sa TESDA Specialista,” TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said in a press release that the program launch for this year is very timely because it is graduation season.

“Graduates can come to our jobs bridging venues and discover for themselves how they can make practical use of what they learned in school,” Villanueva said.

The TESDA Specialistas are graduates of technical vocational courses, who have undergone assessment and were issued National Certificates (NCs) by TESDA.

The NC is a badge which attests that an individual has passed the standards set for workers in a specified occupation.

The jobs bridging program will serve as a vehicle to link up many TESDA graduates and other skilled workers with companies in need of applicants to meet their qualifications.

According to Villanueva, TESDA will embark on an electronic jobs facilitation to capture all the applicants for continuous job matching.

“Jobs bridging will be a venue where the best technical-vocational graduates and the best companies can meet. We have all the brain power and skills, and the most ideal companies to work for coming together in a common hub,” Villanueva said.

In its first stop in Quezon City, some 110 jobseekers were hired on the spot while 830 applicants were asked to report for further interview and written examinations.

Forty six companies took part in the event that was organized by TESDA, in coordination with the Quezon City government and the top online recruitment site JobsDB Philippines.

Doing its share in safety awareness campaign

(journal.com)

As part of its safety awareness campaign for motorcycle riders, Safe-T-Ryders Training Center will hold its second meeting this Saturday at the Quezon Memorial Circle.

The program starts off with an open forum to listen and respond to urgent concerns of motorcycle riders, giving them an opportunity to dialogue on issues related to traffic regulations, safety ordinances, etc.

Former LTO chief Alberto H. Suansing will once again listen to the bikers from Quezon City.

A unique feature of this meet up is a series of fun games that will put to test the riders’ mastery of handling their motorcycles. Instructors of Safe-T-Ryders have created a set of exercises designed to bring out fun not only from the contestants but from all the riders gathered.

Another key component of the program will be a special presentation on the dangers of “Riding Under the Influence of Alcohol”.

A Safe-T-Ryders instructor will conduct a demonstration using the much talked-about “Fatal Vision” goggles to emphasize the very damaging effects of riding under the influence of alcohol, and its severe consequences resulting in serious injuries and even death.

Participants can also expect to take home exciting raffle prizes and give-aways, courtesy of event sponsors McDonald’s Philippines, Petron Corporation, AVT Intelligent Car Media, Blaze motorcycles and Gadgets Magazine.

“As part of the community and the everyday lives of Filipinos, McDonald's is happy to support initiatives that champion their safety and well-being,” says Margot B. Torres, VP Marketing of McDonald’s Philippines.

According to founder Arnel Doria, "The Bikers Meet-Up program is part of our campaign not only to promote safety awareness but also to engage club members in the active campaign to breed more responsible and disciplined bikers. This will be a continuing program for Safe-T-Ryders Training Center and we invite corporate partners to join us in this road safety advocacy."

Safe-T-Ryders Training Center believes that a sound knowledge base as well as strong riding skills result in safer road users and enhance the enjoyment of motorcycle riders.

It was established by Arnel Doria, who was the head of marketing for a leading car brand and was also instrumental in setting up the country's first integrated vehicle training center. The training center is manned by Julius Ballesteros, a TESDA-certified instructor who has just completed a two-year stint as a safety driving instructor of a large Saudi Arabian company, and Sulfikar Guiabel, an experienced LTO-accredited riding/driving instructor.

The event is open to bike club members as well as individual riders.

Due to limited slots, interested participants are requested to pre-register and reserve a slot. Attendance is free of charge to qualified participants. For more information, please contact Safe-T-Ryders (Tel No. 208-8035 / Mobile: 0932-872-3389). Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/safetryders) for event updates.

City Workers Get Loyalty Bonus

By CHITO A. CHAVEZ

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government said it will release within this month another round of benefits for city-paid plantilla employees who have rendered five years or 10 years of continuous service.

Mayor Herbert Bautista ordered city budget officer Marian Orayani to prepare the P5,000 loyalty cash awards ready for release to those employees covered by the benefit.

In June 2010, the city government also awarded P13,500 to every regular city hall employee who rendered 10 years of service as of February 2002.

The grant of the benefits was in compliance with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Resolution No. 020295 which provides for the increase in the payment of the loyalty cash award from P1,000 to P10,000 for the first ten years of service and from R500 to R5,000 for the next five years and thereafter.

In the guidelines, only those city-paid plantilla personnel who were in service for 10 years from February 2002 and succeeding five years of service covering the period of March 2002 to February 2007 and those who rendered service for five years from March 2007 to February 2012 are entitled to the loyalty cash award.

Those who are no longer in the service as of March 1, 2012 are not covered by the said benefit.

Other plantilla employees who did not reach the required years of service will be paid such benefits on different dates depending on their length of service at QC Hall.

Bautista said that the granting of loyalty cash award to city-paid workers will serve as a token of appreciation for their contribution in helping the city government in the delivery of basic services to the city residents.

QC Conducting Quake, Fire Drills

By CHITO A. CHAVEZ

MANILA, Philippines — In preparation for disasters, the Quezon City government will conduct a series of earthquake and fire drills to ensure public safety at the city hall premises during emergency situations.

On orders of QC Mayor Herbert M. Bautista, the City General Services Department (CGSD) and the Department of Public Order and Security (DPOS) have conducted a series of coordination meetings with action officers and assistant action officers of each department to brief them of the new contingency and evacuation plan for the city hall compound.

The city hall premises have five buildings namely the high rise, legislative, judiciary, and the Civic A and B buildings.

Tadeo Palma, secretary to the mayor, said under the plan, there will be one command post, several evacuation areas for the different employees of each building, medical treatment area, transport/vehicle holding area and search and rescue/personnel equipment.

All departments at the city hall have also been directed to organize different teams — including communication, rescue, fire suppression, evacuation, first aid and security -- that will have separate responsibilities for the smooth and orderly evacuation of employees and visitors at the city hall buildings when there is an earthquake or fire.

The earthquake and fire drill are measures that the city government will undertake to prevent panic and possible stampede that might result in injuries or, in the worst scenario, death during disasters.

Third District Councilor Allan Benedict Reyes suggested that workshops be undertaken where individual and team roles can be discussed on how to properly respond to adverse situations that are evident during sudden natural tragedies and catastrophes.

He added that as an initial step action, officers whose main responsibilities include organizing emergency teams at the CGSD and other departments and offices of the city hall should be designated to maintain order during times of distress.

Third District Rep. Jorge “Bolet’’ Banal said people particularly from the DPOS should be on stand-by for similar preparedness activities outside the city hall complex.

He added that a refresher course on basic life support on first aid principles and techniques during evacuation and rescue operations should regularly be conducted.

Starting a business now easier in QC

(ANC, ABS-CBNnews.com)

MANILA, Philippines - Starting a business in Quezon City is now easier and more convenient.

The Philippine Business Registry is now available at the Q.C. City Hall to help facilitate the business registration process of people who want to start a business in the city.

The registry integrates the registration processes of 5 government agencies, namely the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), PAG-IBIG, PhilHealth and Social Security System into a single system.

This would cut down the processing time from two weeks to just 30 minutes.

Quezon City is the first local government unit in the country to launch the Philippine Business Registry.

"We've seen this in many other towns, whenever they improve their processes, there is a resulting increase in the business activity... We expect the same in Quezon City," said Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo.

Politicians' Posters Mushroom In QC

By CHITO A. CHAVEZ

MANILA, Philippines — With graduations scheduled this month, posters of political figures with congratulatory messages have mushroomed in Quezon City, with some blocking signs and traffic lights.

It has come to the point that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has labeled Quezon City as the “poster capital” of the Philippines.

Councilor Jimmy Borres of the city’s third district admitted that the label is apt, but said that not all the offending tarpaulins were put up by politicians.

As a political ploy, adversaries of politicians sometimes spend a tidy sum to put their opponents in bad light by hanging or posting campaign materials on non-designated posting areas, Borres said.

“The MMDA was right on the dot to label the city as such. What the city government can do is to just remove the unsightly posters that distract the motorists,” he said.

He urged his colleagues and those wishing to enter the political arena in the city to desist from installing, posting, hanging and pasting posters, tarpaulins and other forms of advertisement greetings saying that genuinely serving their constituents all year round is the better guaranty in winning the elections.

With the elections next year, political aspirants are taking advantage by hanging and posting oversized billboards that sometimes bearing their photos.

The MMDA has been coordinating with their counterparts in the local government units (LGUs) in removing traffic hazards.

Borres said motorists tend to be distracted by the billboards and posters, exposing them to the risk of being involved in a smash-up.

He pointed out that it is very difficult to pin down political figures associated with the illegal posting of all forms of advertisements and campaign posters as they can put the blame to their political adversaries.

Besides, the penalty for such offense for those caught pasting the posters is very light that the politicians or candidates for public office concerned can easily get them out of their predicament.

However, Quezon City Third District Congressman Jorge “Bolet’’ Banal said that he personally asks his men to remove any of his posters that put the lives of the public at risks even without any written or verbal complaint.

Banal also added that his personal funds and donations from friends and allies are being used to purchase the tarpaulins and other materials needed to paste or put up the posters.

Sagip Kapamilya, AFP turn-over school buildings for Sendong victims; Scholarships given to CDO and Iligan students

by PAO, AFP

Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City—The Armed Forces of the Philippines, in partnership with the Sagip Kapamilya Foundation of ABS-CBN, turned over school buildings in a concerted effort to reconstruct Iligan and Cagayan de Oro City following the devastation of tropical storm Sendong.

The onslaught of the storm Sendong brought huge damage to Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City as houses and many infrastructures including school buildings were destroyed. Hundreds of families were rendered homeless and thousands of students were without classrooms.

Days after the tragedy, Sagip Kapamilya together with the AFP thru the National Development Support Command (NADESCOM) forged a partnership and planned for the construction of school buildings in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan that will not only serve as classrooms but will act as evacuation centers in times of calamities.

Exactly three months after the Sendong tragedy, 50 classrooms were finished and turned over to school authorities in a formal ceremony in CDO and Iligan on Friday and Saturday respectively with ABS CBN's Charo Santos Concio and AFP Chief Of Staff Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa as Guests of Honor. They were also accompanied by DepEd officials and representatives from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division based in CDO and 1st Infantry Division based in Zamboanga and covering Iligan area together with Engineers from the 52nd Engineer Brigade of the Philippine Army were at the core of the construction of 30 classrooms in different schools in CDO and 20 classrooms in different parts of Iligan.

Numerous projects in other parts of the country are also being undertaken by soldiers as part of the focus in supporting the education sector and efforts on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HA/DR) of the AFP and OCD. A total of 300 scholarship grants were also given by Sagip Kapamilya to students in CDO and Iligan as part of the continuing support to Sendong victims.

Charo Santos Concio of ABSCBN lauded the partnership as a continuing commitment of the network in helping calamity victims and marginalized communities as part of ABSCBN's Corporate Social Responsibility and dedication towards community service.

Maj. Gen. Carlos Holganza, commander of NADESCOM for his part said that "Sagip Kapamilya provided not only fund for the projects but the inspiration for our soldiers to carry on their mandate in serving our people in line with the spirit of 'Bayanihan'.

"The partnership of the AFP and Sagip Kapamilya manifests our government's sincere efforts in providing much needed services to our people and the private sector's commitment to help people in need in line with the current Public-Private Partnership of the government." Holganza concluded.

This brings the total of AFP finished peace and development projects to 1,840 from 2005 to date ranging from school buildings, farm to market roads, health centers, barangay water system and rural electrification projects.

In 2011 alone, the AFP thru NADESCOM completed a total of 98 peace and development projects worth millions of pesos with 20%-30% less cost to donor organizations due to labor and engineering component provided by the AFP.

“The partnership forged between AFP and ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya is truly a classic example of true Bayanihan spirit in action. Your Armed Forces is committed to support this endeavor that will further promote and provide quality education to our youth particularly in the countryside who have been targets of NPA recruitment. Your AFP will continue to hone the soldiers’ skills and upgrade its capability to be more responsive and effective in addressing both natural and man-made disasters,” Dellosa said.

SC rules with finality P4-B worth Piedad Estate in QC belongs to gov't

(PNA), DCT/PTR

MANILA — The Supreme Court (SC) has ruled with finality that the 34-hectare land known as Piedad Estate worth P4 billion belongs to the government.

In a 32-page ruling, the SC, through Associate Justice Martin Villarama Jr., dismissed the appeal filed by the Manotok clan, the heirs of Homer Barque and Felicitas Manahan and stood pat on its 2010 ruling.

The SC Aug. 24, 2010 decision upheld the findings of the Court of Appeals (CA) that the title of the Manotok to the property is null and void while the Barques were "fake and spurious" as well as the Deed of Conveyance issued to Manahan.

The SC ruled that none of the parties were able to prove a valid claim over Lot 823 of the Piedad Estate from the government in accordance with the provisions of Act 112 or the Friar Lands Act, this despite the opportunity given by the court to the claimants.

"As it turned out, none of the parties were able to establish by clear and convincing evidence a valid alienation from the government of the subject friar land," the SC said.

The Piedad Estate is located in Culiat, Capitol Hills, Old Balara and Ayala Heights in Quezon City.

Lot 823 is a part of the Piedad Estate, a friar land acquired by the Philippine government from the Philippine Sugar Estates Development Company Ltd., La Sociedad Agricola de Ultramar, the British-Manila Estate Company Ltd., and the Recoleto Order of the Philippine Islands on Dec. 23, 1903.

The Piedad Estate has been titled in the name of the government under Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 614 and was placed under the administration of the Director of Lands.

The various claims to land arise after a fire gutted portions of the Quezon City Hall in 1988 that destroyed records stored in the Office of the Register of Deeds.

A petition for administrative reconstitution of TCT No. 372302 in the name of the Manotoks covering Lot 823 with an area of 342,945 square meters was filed in 1990 by the Manotoks with the Land Registration Authority (LRA), which granted the same resulting in the issuance of TCT No. RT-22481 in 1991.

The Barques filed a petition in 1996 with the LRA for administrative reconstitution of the original of TCT No. 210177 in the name of Homer Barque and covering Lot 823 of the Piedad Estate, alleged to be among those titles destroyed in the fire.

The LRA cancelled in 1997 the title of the Manotoks and ordered the reconstitution of the Barques' title.

After their motion for reconsideration (MR) was denied by the agency, the Manotoks filed an appeal before the CA.

The CA sustained the Manotoks, however, Felicitas Manahan moved to intervene and sought the dismissal of the cases claiming ownership to the same property.

On appeal by the Barques, the CA reconsidered its ruling and ordered the Register of Deeds of Quezon City to cancel the title of the Manotoks and the LRA to reconstitute the Barques' title which prompted the Manotoks to elevate the case to the SC.

In its 2010 decision, the SC cited the findings of the Forensic Chemistry Division of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that the result of the chemical analysis of the Manotoks' titles showed "they were not really as old as they purport to be."

The NBI noted that the handwritten entries were found to be made in ballpoint pen and sign pen inks, which were not yet commercially available in the Philippines until 1953 and 1965.

As regards the Barques title, the SC cited the admission made by Teresita Barque-Hernandez that the certified true copy of Deed of Conveyance Record No. 4562 with Sale Certificate No. V-321 is a fake and spurious document.

The SC said the CA noted that on its face, the document dated May 6, 1937 is spurious considering that while its heading "Republic of the Philippines Department of Agriculture and Commerce" and the consideration for the conveyance in Japanese war notes, "it is of judicial notice that the Republic of the Philippines was established only on July 4, 1946.

"Considering that none of the parties has established a valid acquisition under the provisions of Act No. 1120 (Friar Lands Act), as amended, we therefore depot the recommendation of the CA declaring the Manotok title as null and void ab initio, and Lot 823 of the Piedad Estate as still part of the patrimonial property of the Government," the SC said.

Those who voted in favor of the government are Chief Justice Renato Corona and Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Portugal Perez, Lucas Bersamin, and Jose Catral Mendoza.

Those who dissented were Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Maria Lourdes Sereno, Presbitero Velasco Jr., Arturo Brion, Roberto Abad, Bienvenido Reyes, and Estrella Perlas-Bernabe.

Proposed Ordinance Promotes QC Housing

By CHITO A. CHAVEZ

MANILA, Philippines — A Quezon City councilor has proposed an ordinance promoting housing cooperatives in the city to provide assistance in facilitating documentation process, exemption from payment of fees and charges and granting of tax incentives to its members.

In PO 2011-07, First District Councilor Alexis Herrera said the purpose of the proposal is to provide housing to cooperative members through the city’s Sikap Buhay Entrepreneurship and Cooperative Office and the Urban Poor Affairs Office (UPAO).

The two offices will assist housing cooperatives in the transactions with various city offices like the city assessor office, city planning development office, city engineering office and city treasurer office and other concerned national government offices.

In section five of the proposal, Herrera said that housing cooperatives will be exempted from payment of transfer tax imposed under article 11 of the Quezon City Revenue Code of 1993 in relation to real properties acquired for housing projects.

The proposal also calls for exemption of housing projects of the housing cooperatives from the payment of real property tax imposed on the same code.

Herrera said that the proposal also seeks to exempt housing projects of housing cooperatives from the payment of building permit fees and all fees and charges in connection with the acquisition of the building permit.

Under the code, a housing cooperative assists or provides access to housing for the benefit of its regular members who actively participate in the savings program for housing.

QC Cleans Drains This Summer

By CHITO A. CHAVEZ

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City Engineering District (QCED) will take advantage of the summer months to clean and de-clog the city’s drains to minimize flooding.

Joselito Cabungcal, QCED chief, said his office will also repair roads during summer since the “heat spell makes it easier for concrete to dry faster.’’

“I have also constantly coordinated with my DPWH counterparts district engineers Roseller Tolentino and Ramon Devanadera on the projects that the city government plans to avoid traffic jams near construction sites,’’ Cabungcal said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is responsible for projects along the city’s national roads.

Cabungcal also warned private contractors to follow strict government regulations to prevent fines, sanctions and even jail terms.

In a recent meeting with the contractors, Cabungcal reminded them to maintain the highest quality of work, or be blacklisted in Quezon City.

“I will not hesitate to recommend to Mayor (Herbert) Bautista the blacklisting of non-performing and stubborn contractors who continue to disobey the standards set by the Quezon City government,’’ Cabungcal said.

Tadeo Palma, secretary to mayor, also cautioned the contractors against using substandard materials that lead to the premature wearing and tearing of government projects, putting lives at risks.

He asked the contractors to purchase their construction materials only from reputable stores and material suppliers to avoid jeopardizing the projects.

Palma issued the warning after Cabungcal claimed that errant construction materials suppliers are purposely mislabeling their undersized plywood, wooden planks, steel bars and metal sheets passing them off as a few sizes or grades higher than their actual size or strengths.

“We discovered these kinds of schemes. We warn the contractors to be very careful. There are gauge 26 steel bars that turn out to be a few gauges lower that their actual labels,’’ Palma added.

Cabungcal said the best way to deal with the issue is for the contractors to purchase their material from suppliers with long standing good records and to avoid dealing with fly-by-night hardware firms selling inferior quality materials.

On the construction site, Cabungcal asked the contractors to build field offices that are clean, presentable and manned by courteous and knowledgeable field personnel that may answer questions from the public regarding the infrastructure work in the vicinity.

On orders of Bautista, Cabungcal asked the contractors to ensure that all their workers are wearing uniforms and identification cards especially on school building projects.

QC greening sites expanded

(RJB/AKG-PIA-NCR/QC-PIO)

QUEZON CITY, March 13 (PIA) -- Quezon City has grown some 19,379 seedlings of indigenous, flowering and shade trees in various open spaces, center islands, barangays, parks and playgrounds and along waterway embankments to help boost the implementation of the metro-wide urban greening program.

The city’s tree-planting initiative, supported by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), also serves as the city’s blueprint in the promotion of city’s status as metro’s “green lungs” and model garden city.

Quezon City is one of the first local government units to actively take part in the implementation of the National Greening Program that was launched by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in July last year.

Tree-planting sites include existing parks, open spaces and center islands such as Katipunan Avenue, Commonwealth Avenue extension, Araneta Avenue, Mindanao Avenue, Visayas Avenue and Roces Avenue, where more than 40,938 saplings of indigenous and ornamental plants and trees were planted and grown during the past year.

To prevent water and soil erosion, the city has planted at least 500 tree saplings along the stretch of the La Mesa creek at North Fairview.

The city government also has embarked on a massive planting of neem and eucalyptus trees, whose leaves are said to provide aromatic scents that drive dengue-carrying mosquitoes, in the city’s 142 public elementary and secondary schools.

Mayor Herbert Bautista has been actively promoting park development, including the introduction of pockets of greenery in center islands and along waterway embankments, to improve the cityscape and in mitigating the ill-effects of climate change, especially in the area of reducing carbon emissions.

“We want to grow trees that will remind us of the country’s rich historical and cultural heritage. While we may not outlive these trees, there will be younger generations that will appreciate them more,” Bautista said.

Aside from the tree-planting initiative, QC also completed conducting an inventory of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from government operations to indicate the city’s continuing commitment to mitigate the impact of climate change.

With the inventory, it will now be easier for the QC government to develop mitigation strategies and policies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city. Greenhouse gases also include methane gas (NH4), nitrous oxide (NO2), water vapor (H20) and fluorinated carbons, which are commonly used as refrigerants in air-conditioning units, chillers and refrigerators.

QC has also partnered with the International Institute for Energy Conservation (IIEC) for the adoption of procurement guidelines for life-cycle costing, green schools retrofit program, energy efficiency program for offices and hospitals, residential energy efficiency awareness program, five-year capital planning for energy efficiency retrofits, municipal fleet maintenance program, development of IRR for the city’s green building ordinance and creation of the energy management council.

Quezon City has also pioneered in the enactment of the QC green building ordinance which provides an integrated and complete approach to planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of building structures and their surrounding landscape. The ordinance encourages the use of renewable building materials and installations which help out in the mitigation of climate change.

Medical Service Package For Poor

By CHITO A. CHAVEZ

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government is setting up fixed packages that guarantee affordable health services to poor patients at the Quezon City General Hospital (QCGH).

Mayor Herbert M. Bautista said he has asked QCGH Director Edgardo Salud to study further the proposal charging fixed service package for different minor and major hospital procedures.

Based on Salud’s proposal, the package will include frequently needed procedures at QCGH for normal or caesarian birth delivery, gall bladder operation, and other minor and major surgeries.

The service package will include all expenses starting from admission to discharge of patients plus the medicines and dextrose they will need during their stay in the hospital.

Salud noted that most QCGH patients had experienced financial difficulties made more costly by the purchase of medicines purchased outside the hospital.

“To help our clients, especially those poor residents of our city, from being caught in this situation, we need to assist them by initiating a move such as packaging the hospital services at fixed and affordable price,’ Salud said.

He said that city residents who are sick and need immediate medical attention will not have second thoughts in going to the QCGH hospital.

Most patients mostly from the urban poor are apprehensive to go to the hospitals for fear of the undetermined expenses that will be incurred.

“We want to promote and bring quality and the best service to our city residents at the price they can afford. This is the marching order that Mayor Bautista had instructed us from the very start of his administration. Gusto niyang magkaroon ang lungsod ng magandang hospital service sa murang halaga,” Salud said.

QC Shoulders Fees Of Graduates

By CHITO A. CHAVEZ

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government Sunday said it will shoulder the graduation expenses of students and pupils of the city’s public schools, adding that it has set aside at least P1.4 million for the program.

Amid the scheduled graduation of public school students next week, Mayor Herbert Bautista said the city government will hand out P10, 000 financial assistance to each of the city’s 142 schools.

The move is part of the city’s response to ease the financial burden of parents who worry as they look for money to pay the graduation expenses of their children.

Complying with the no-collection policy of the Department of Education (DepEd), Bautista said the subsidy will enable parents to focus more on other immediate needs of the family.

The local school board said 87,258 Quezon City students will be graduating this school year from the city’s 96 elementary and 46 secondary schools.

Of the total, 40,180 pupils are graduating in the elementary level; 32,873, in the secondary level and 14,205 graduates in the city’s pre-school program.

The city has the largest school-age population in the country with almost 75 percent of the 572,896 enrolees in 2010 enrolled in the city’s public schools.

Romulo Rafael, a father of a day-care center pupil in Project 2 in the city’s third district, hailed the program calling it “hulog ng langit’’ (heaven sent).

“Our meager resources put us in a tight financial constraint as the graduation expenses had us worrying for a long time now,’’ Romulo added.

He cited the complementary support given by Rep. Jorge Banal and Bautista to the city’s public school students.

“Congressman Banal provides our children with school supplies including school bags yearly. Mayor Bautista pays for our children’s graduation expenses,’’ Rafael added.

Bigtime perks sought for ‘Iglesia’ centennial

By Gil Cabacungan (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines—Two allies of President Aquino want the government to go all out in providing the best perks for Iglesia Ni Cristo in its centennial celebration in 2014 by requiring airlines to give members discounts on tickets, putting up special express lanes for members in airports, and forming a government commission to be bankrolled by state funds.

“Considering the global scale of the occasion, it is projected that a celebration unprecedented in scope will mark the unfolding event. Taking into account that the Philippines is the nucleus of the Church and is the center of the centennial celebration, the influx of foreigners unparalleled in number in Philippine history is anticipated,” said Quezon City Representatives Winston Castelo and Jorge “Bolet” Banal said in one of three resolutions for INC’s centennial on July 27, 2014. INC’s central temple is in Quezon City.

In House Resolution 2157, Castelo and Banal urged Malacañang to form the INC Centennial commission which would oversee and coordinate with the leadership of the religious group preparation and activities for the said event and “providing funds therefor.”

The two also filed resolution 2182 urging both domestic and international airlines to extend special airfare discounts to all INC members flying into the country for its centennial. Castelo and Banal did not say how Congress would be able to compel private companies to give discounts based on religious affiliation.

The third is resolution 2183 asking the Bureau of Immigration and the Bureau of Customs to establish a “centennial lane” for INC members at the international airport for “practical and courteous purposes” for the “throng of INC members flying in.”

The INC centennial bills were apparently filed to woo the INC leaders amid strained relations with the Aquino administration.

QC Planning More Tourist Attractions

By CHITO A. CHAVEZ

MANILA, Philippines — With a collection of P24.1 million from tourism related fees in 2011, the Quezon City government said Thursday it will develop more attractive sights and facilities to magnetize more local and foreign investors.

Charito Yarra, head of the city’s Cultural and Tourism Affairs Office (CTAO), said the fees collected last year was higher than the P20.1 million in 2010.

She said the R4 million increases in tourism revenue could be attributed to the infrastructure development in the city, particularly those tourist-attracting areas developed by the city government and the undying support of the private sector.

The CTAO chief also added that the boost in tourism revenue is due to the effective tax measures being undertaken by the Bautista administration, enabling the city government to collect more than the annual collection target.

“The higher collection could fund more city tourism programs and projects,’’ Yarra added.

At present, Quezon City has a lot of tourist attractions such as parks, museums, heritage places, hotels, and malls drawing more local and foreign tourists in the city.

“We hope that this year will also be a fruitful year for QC when we could collect more revenue on tourism oriented/related establishments. The more we collect revenues, the more we can fund the city’s programs and projects,” Yarra said.

Quezon City homeowners oppose tax to fund housing for squatters==

By Julie M. Aurelio (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines—An alliance of Quezon City homeowners has asked a Quezon City court to stop the city government from imposing a .5-percent tax on real estate to fund “socialized housing” projects for squatters.

In a 21-page petition, the Alliance of Quezon City Homeowners Associations, which represents 86 subdivisions, sought a temporary restraining order and injunction against the city government.

The group is questioning the newly approved Socialized Housing Tax Ordinance, which aims to enforce an additional tax on property owners to fund housing projects for the poor.

Named as respondents in the civil case were Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, members of the Quezon City Council and City Treasurer Edgar Villanueva.

QC dad urges sale regulation of iodized salt

by Cory Martinez

A QUEZON City councilor urged the city council to enact a law that would regulate the selling of iodized/fortified salt within the city to ensure that the consuming public will comply with the amount of iodine required by the Department of Health (DOH).

4th District Councilor Jessica Castelo-Daza filed a resolution asking the city council to authorize the QC health department to conduct random testing of iodized/fortified salt sold within the city to determine the compliance with the standards set by the DOH’s Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD).

In the same proposed measure, the QC Health Department will also be authorized to put in place a system that will monitor on the quality of formulated food-grade salt being sold wholesale or retail in department stores, shops, groceries, mini-marts, and other outlets engaged in selling iodine-formulated salt to consumers.

The lady councilor stressed that it is important that the buying public is assured that this food ingredient is iodized or fortified according to the required standards set by the DOH.

Styrofoam, plastic food containers banned inside Camp Aguinaldo

(Andreo Calonzo/RSJ, GMA News)

Food containers made from plastic and Styrofoam (polystyrene foam) are now prohibited inside the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquartes in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

A military statement Tuesday said Armed Forces chief Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa issued the directive banning the use of these non-biodegradable materials as food containers inside Camp Aguinaldo starting March 1.

It was not clear, however, if the directive would also cover other military camps in Metro Manila as well as those in the provinces.

“The convenience we get in using Styrofoam and other non-biodegradable materials is nothing compared to the devastation we get from natural calamities. It is now time that we adjust our habits and start embracing the use of environment friendly materials,” Dellosa said.

He added that these non-biodegradable food containers threaten public health, destroy the ozone layer when burned, and may clog up drainage systems which may cause flooding.

Dellosa particularly ordered the AFP Commissioned Officers Club to use different environment-friendly options for packing subsidized meals for the offices inside Camp Aguinaldo.

The AFP camp likewise encouraged employees and personnel working inside the military headquarters to bring their own reusable food containers.

Dellosa also said that his latest directive is in support of the government’s campaign against non-biodegradable materials, and in response to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA)’s call to ban the use of Styrofoams and plastic within the country’s capital region.

QC, Phivolcs looking into valley fault danger signs

QUEZON CITY, March 5 (PIA) -- The Quezon City government and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) have just completed a trenching activity across the West Valley Fault line at Barangay Bagong Silangan, which is intended to identify ground rupture movements and slip rate estimates across the fault line.

The activity involves excavations of two trenches, about 50 meters apart, within the 50-hectare property owned by Banco Filipino at Barangay Bagong Silangan, which according to a Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS), registers high susceptibility to earthquakes, along with Barangay Payatas, also in QC.

As a result of the trenching activity, geologists from Phivolcs recorded evidence of ground displacement, including abrupt change of sediment layers across the fault. The exposed trench walls are also indicative of at least two to three earthquake events have already taken place in the past.

Phivolcs is now in the process of collecting charcoal pieces for carbon-14 analysis to determine the approximate time of the occurrence of said earthquakes and the estimate of the age of the sediment layers affected by the ground displacement.

According to MMEIRS, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake may originate at the West Valley Fault line.

“The Phivolcs findings just validated the claim that the West Valley Fault Line is indeed active,” said Elmo San Diego, action officer of the QC disaster risk reduction management council and head of the city’s department of public order and safety.

In his remarks, San Diego reiterated QC Mayor Herbert Bautista’s call to declare as danger zone the 7-kilometer stretch of the fault system that runs through QC’s periphery.

“The safety of our residents, particularly those living on top of the faultline, is non-negotiable,” said San Diego. “The faultline is unlivable,” he said.

In an earlier statement, the Mayor urged homeowners and residents of areas transected by the West Valley Fault, particularly those living beside and on top of the fault line, to do their part now in the city’s disaster preparedness efforts. He said it will be for their own safety if they will act now and transfer to areas away from the fault line.

“Our plan is to discourage the construction of structures within the 5 meter-wide borders or buffer zone on both sides of the fault line. We are considering declaring this buffer zone as non-residential to avoid further damage in case of ground rupture,” Bautista said.

QC, in partnership with Phivolcs, started as early as April last year the tagging, marking and installation of physical markers at the actual locations of the West Valley fault system, which runs along the periphery of the city through the eastern boundary from the down slope area east of Violago Parkwoods in the northeast to Bagong Silangan to Ugong Norte in the southeast.

Meanwhile, San Diego advised schools and building administrators whose properties transect the West Valley fault line to undertake retrofitting procedures to ensure the stability of their structures.

To heighten the level of preparedness of QC communities in times of calamities, especially earthquakes, continuous orientation programs were also being conducted for QC schoolchildren and barangays.

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