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Quezon City News November 2017

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Quezon City - Archived News

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Wars of ancient history were about territory, power, family or lover's quarrel, politics and sometimes religion.

But we are in the Modern era and supposedly more educated and enlightened .

Think about this. Don't just brush off these questions.

  • Why is RELIGION still involved in WARS? Isn't religion supposed to be about PEACE?
  • Ask yourself; What religion is always involved in wars and consistently causing WARS, yet insists that it's a religion of peace?


Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm

MVP Group eyes QualiMed

By Doris Dumlao-Abadilla (Reporter, Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific group is interested to take over a chain of hospitals and clinics under the healthcare brand QualiMed now being pitched by the Ayala and Mercado groups to prospective new investors.

If a deal would be made, then this could mark the single biggest consolidation of healthcare networks in the country.

It could also be the biggest acquisition of Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc. (MPHHI), cementing its position as the leading healthcare network operator in the country.

However, there are other groups which may bid for the Qualimed business, other sources said.

Mount Grace, the hospital arm of homegrown pharmaceutical giant Unilab, for instance, has been MPHHI’s key rival in recent hospital buyout deals.

Industry sources said the Ayala Land Inc. and Mercado groups were rethinking their partnership in the healthcare business four years after teaming up to introduce the QualiMed Health Network.

Three sources from the Ayala group confirmed that talks had been initiated to sell the business, with one source noting that the Mercado group was “leading the discussions” on the prospective divestment.

While having a hospital in its large-scale mixed-use estates was the primary reason for Ayala Land’s decision to invest in the hospital business, operating a hospital is not deemed part of its core business.

Recently, the group also signed a deal to sell its interest in another noncore business, the convenience store network under the FamilyMart brand.

Asked about this matter, Jose Ma. Lim, president of MPHHI’s parent conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp., said his group had been approached to discuss a potential investment in QualiMed.

“We’ll be interested,” he told Inquirer in a chance interview.

“Their business model is to put hospitals in new developments, which means these are start-ups so it’s difficult to make money,” Lim said. “Actually, we are probably the best candidate to make it work because we already have the critical mass with our 14 hospitals.”

For his part, MPPHI president Augie Palisoc said: “Except for the Batangas hospital and the outpatient facility at PGH (Philippine General Hospital), their facilities are mostly greenfield clinics and hospitals, which will suffer years of losses before they develop any critical mass, so any buyer will necessarily have to make a very long term bet on this company.”

Since investing in Makati Medical Center a decade ago, MPHHI now has a combined capacity of close to 3,000 beds in its chain of 14 hospitals across the country.

The QualiMed Health Network, meanwhile, has four operating hospitals with a combined capacity of 456 beds plus around seven other outpatient facilities around the country.

Mercado General Hospital Inc. (MGHI) was established in Tanauan, Batangas in 1957.

The founder, Dr. Daniel Mercado, came back to his hometown after finishing his internship at the Baltimore Casualty Hospital in Washington, D.C.

From a 12-bed clinic, the first hospital in Batangas has become a 145-bed tertiary hospital.

In June, 2013, the majority shareholders of MGHI signed an agreement with Ayala Land for the latter to acquire WhiteKnight Holdings Inc. (WHI), a holding company of the majority shareholders. WHI then owned a 33-percent ownership interest in MGHI. The deal was consummated in November 2013, making MGHI a part of the Ayala group of companies.

QualiMed was launched in February 2014 with the opening of the QualiMed Clinic in TriNoma Mall in Quezon City, followed by the opening of QualiMed Surgery Center in Fairview Terraces also in Quezon City and the opening of 104-bed QualiMed Hospital in Mandurriao, Iloilo and the QualiMed Clinic in Makati in the same year.

The 105-bed QualiMed General Hospital was opened last year at Altaraza Town Center in Bulacan while early this year, the 102-bed

QualiMed Hospital in Sta. Rosa, Nuvali was inaugurated. Also in the pipeline is

QualiMed’s flagship hospital, which will open in 2020 in Cloverleaf, Balintawak.

MGHI also founded the DMMC Institute of Health Sciences, a tertiary healthcare education institution in Tanauan City, Batangas that also houses the Newborn Screening Reference Center for Southern Luzon.

MPHHI’s healthcare portfolio, on the other hand, includes two healthcare colleges, Davao Doctors College and Riverside College in Bacolod, three primary care clinics, Megaclinic in SM Megamall Ortigas and TopHealth in SM San Lazaro, and a newly built cancer center in a joint venture with Lipa Medix in Batangas.

Business Radio is NCR's most listened to FM station

By Juzel Danganan (PNA)

MANILA -- Business Radio 104.3, currently broadcasting as FM2 and a station owned and operated by the Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS), has landed on the top spot for the most listened to FM station among all classes in Metro Manila.

According to a survey conducted by AC Nielsen released Sunday, the station had an index percentage of 303.8 percent, higher than DZRJ's 214.6 percent by 89.2 percent.

Business Radio's listeners skyrocketed to 303.8 percent for the third quarter of this year from 116.8 percent for the same period last year. It went up by 187 percent.

PBS Director Rizal Giovanni Aportadera told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the station is still addressing the challenge of "getting the right on-air team to complement the music."

He added that Business Radio will offer more engaging segments next year.

Aportadera said the station's budget allocation for capital outlay has greatly improved from zero to more than PHP50 million for next year.

He also pointed out PBS is eyeing to build provincial stations in Bacolod, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, and Davao. Last October, PBS also commissioned its Boracay station.

Business Radio initially had no technical capability to reach Makati from its office in Visayas Avenue, Quezon City but was modernized due to the programming and hardware changes implemented by Deputy Director General Carlo Villo.

"A non-commercial station, with barely enough power and make-do equipment, took on the airwaves of Metro Manila to compete with the big boys. After one year of change, this is what we got," the PBS director said on his Facebook page.

He also thanked the National Capital Region for tuning in to their station, noting their efforts to re-format paid off.

Business Radio changed its name to FM2 February this year.

FM2 extended its broadcast time by two hours, operating from 5 a.m. until midnight.

QC boosts maternal and neonatal services

(The Manila Times)

Good news for the dwellers of largest city in Metro Manila: Quezon City is rolling out online information exchange database that seeks to provide quicker and more accessible maternal and neonatal health services to its citizens.

The Quezon City Government headed by Mayor Herbert Bautista, thru the QC Health Department (QCHD), in partnership with United Laboratories Inc. (Unilab, Inc.), launched during the 5th Maternal and Neonatal Health Summit the “Seal of Excellence” (SoE) Plus as part of its continuing efforts to innovate its health services and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

In the said event, 44 private lying-in clinics were recognized as Seal of Excellence awardees for being fully compliant to the standards set by the Department of Health, PhilHealth and the city’s local permit issuances.

The SoE Plus allows SoE-awarded lying-in clinics in Quezon City to immediately synchronize via Internet their respective postpartum and newborn profiles using the prescribed reporting template with the local government’s database.

“We are now 3 million Filipinos in Quezon City and we need the participation and cooperation of the private sector to address the challenges of the SDGs, that is to decrease the mortality rates of both mothers and newborn children. Our goal is to also decrease by 30- to 40-percent the number of those giving birth through traditional means. We started with lying in clinics but we would like to expand this to other specialized health services,” Mayor Bautista noted.

The implementation of SoE PLUS is part of the QC government’s expansion of the SoE program, which recognizes private lying-in clinics in the city that have achieved essential Maternal Newborn Child Health and Nutrition indicators.

“The Seal of Excellence is a testament to public-private partnerships that can work efficiently to improve public health services. Being in the business of health such as running a private lying-in clinic is a critical responsibility as it is supposed to provide adequate care and services to pregnant women and their infants. Therefore, it must be able to fully comply with national and local government standards,” says Claire Papa, External Affairs Head of Unilab.

Since the launching of SoE last year, a total of 99 private lying in clinics were monitored and evaluated twice a year by Midwife Supervisors and Sanitary Inspectors.

DND, East Ave. Med ink drug-test deal

By Priam Nepomuceno (PNA)

MANILA -- The Department of National Defense (DND) and the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on drug tests for defense and military employees.

DND public affairs chief Arsenio Andolong, in a statement Friday, said the MOA was signed by Undersecretary for Policy Ricardo David Jr., who chairs the department’s Drug-Free Workplace Assessment Committee, and EAMC head Dr. Emmanuel Bueno, on behalf of the hospital’s National Reference Laboratory (NRL), at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on November 23.

“Today, we officially seal the covenant between the DND and the EAMC-NRL on the engagement of quality drug testing for DND employees and of course, AFP personnel,” David said. “This is a milestone for the department in the pursuit of a drug-free environment in compliance with Republic Act 9165, also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002… and the pursuit of a drug-free workplace as approved by the Secretary of National Defense on July 17, 2017.”

The MOA aims to further strengthen the DND’s anti-illegal drug efforts through the conduct of the annual mandatory and random drug tests of civilian and uniformed personnel, regardless of status or position.

The agreement would also serve as the reference point for the engagement of drug testing services of the EAMC-NRL, and ensure that the DND would be able to tap into qualified, competent, and sufficient number of personnel who will conduct the drug tests.

QC online info database for lying-in clinics

By Alladin S. Diega

For a faster and more accessible maternal and neonatal health services from privately owned maternity clinics, the local government of Quezon City recently launched the creation of Seal of Excellence (SoE) Plus, an online information-exchange database system composed of patient’s medical record for quick response in cases of emergencies.

The city government, through the Quezon City Health Department , has launched SoE Plus to allow the lying-in clinics in Quezon City to synchronize through the Internet the profiles of postpartum and newborn cases using the prescribed reporting template with the Referral Community Health Information Tracking System.

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista highlighted the city’s initiative during the fifth Maternal and Neonatal Health Summit 2017 held in QC.

“The next step here is that we will connect the data of lying-in clinics in QC, lying-in data of private clinics, and later on connect them with all hospitals in QC,” Bautista explained.

He added the city government is encouraging more pregnant mothers to go to accredited lying-in clinics for safer and better delivery of maternal services.

During the Maternal and Neonatal Health Summit, Quezon City has awarded Seals of Excellence to a total of 44 private lying-in clinics.

The implementation of SoE Plus is part of the expansion of SoE program of the Quezon City government, which recognizes the efforts of private lying-in clinics to fully comply with the requirements and standards set by the city government, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and the Department of Health.

According to Bautista, the general health of the city’s future residents starts from their birth. Hence “we should provide incentives to the private lying-in centers to maintain their high-level services to our residents.”

Quezon City declared as ‘UN City’

By Alladin S. Diega

Owing to its local policies promoting peace and safe migration of overseas Filipino workers, Quezon City has been recently declared by the United Nation as a “UN City”, according to an official of the local government.

According to City Administrator Aldrin Cuña, the adoption was announced during the United Nations Conference on Road Safety organized by the UN Institute for Training and Research and the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance recently.

Quezon City is the only city in the Philippines that was given this recognition, Cuña said.

“Because of our commitment to UN conventions and human rights, we have been declared a UN City. And also because of our efforts in promoting peace. We all know Mayor [Herbert] Bautista is part of the GRP [Government of the Republic of the Philippines] peace panel,” Cuña added.

As a result of this declaration, the United Nations flag will now fly alongside Quezon City’s colors at the City Hall grounds.

“This is a recognition and acknowledgement of the strong partnership between Quezon City and the United Nations, including the various organizations and agencies under the UN,” Cuña also said.

“All we have to do is sustain all the programs that we are currently undertaking, which are: the peace process, implementation of the rebel-returnee program, the protection of migrant workers abroad and providing them with mechanisms when they return,” Cuña stressed.

Cuña added that Quezon City continues to support UN’s sustainable-development goals, which are keys to the city’s economic progress and dynamism.

Advocates call for full implementation of Juvenile Justice Welfare Act


QUEZON CITY, Nov. 23 (PIA) -- Officials of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Council (JJWC) led by its Executive Director Attorney Tricia Clare Oco called for the full implementation of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act or RA 9344.

During the kick-off activity of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Consciousness (JJWC) Week Sunday (Nov. 19) in Quezon City, Oco admitted that the implementation of the Act is facing many challenges.

Oco admitted that the law faces many challenges saying that many children at risks (CARs) and children-in-conflict with the law (CICLs) were not given interventions as most of the local government units have no available programs and no functional local committee for the protection of children.

Mishandling of CICLs by authorities is also a big challenge, Oco added.

We have several documented testimonies proving that with proper intervention, rehabilitation program and support of the community, lives of CARs and CICLs will have a positive change,” Oco said. To help in the implementation of the law, the JJWC, depending on the released budget and the counterpart budget of the concerned LGU, is giving P10 million assistance for the construction of Bahay Pag-asa, a transformation center for CICL and P5M for intervention programs.

The Council also continuously provides technical assistance to LGUs in crafting their respective intervention program.

The 6th Juvenile Justice Welfare Consciousness Week carries the theme, “Mapagkalingang Hustisya, Ugaliin at Pagtibayin”. Other activities held in observance of the JJWC Week are poster making contest, and flash mob dance and singing contest showcasing children’s talents and creativity that needs to be nurtured for a brighter future.

DAR holds Stakeholders Forum on Land Use Conversion


MANILA, Nov. 22 – The Land Use Cases Division (LUCD) of the Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance (BALA) under the Agrarian Legal Sector (ALS) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) convened the First National Stakeholders Forum on Land Use Conversion at Microtel Hotel, Quezon City on November 16 and 17, 2017.

The forum was convened by BALA Director Celestina Manlagnit-Tam and ALS Head Undersecretary Luis M.C. Pañgulayan. The directors of the various DAR Regional Offices were in attendance during the two-day affair. Representatives from the major agencies implementing the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) were also present.

Pañgulayan in his welcome remarks noted the timeliness of the forum since the department needs to identify the urgent issues and policy concerns regarding land use conversion. The forum was also relevant since the guidelines on conversion under DAR Administrative Order (AO) No. 1, Series of 2002 has not been re-examined for the past fifteen (15) years. All inputs in the discussion should be included as DAR convenes the Policy Review and Formulation Committee (PRFC) to review the policy and procedures on conversion of agricultural lands.

He expects the forum to be the first of a series of discussions among the stakeholders from the public and private sectors.

Undersecretary for Field Operations Office (FOO) Karlo Bello welcomed the participants in behalf of OIC-Secretary Rosalina L. Bistoyong. He observed that the Forum will provide the needed inputs as the DAR undertakes the task of reviewing DAR A.O. No. 1, Series of 2002. The participation of the stakeholders is much needed as the Department examines its land use conversion policies.

The forum speakers tackled special issues affecting the process of evaluating conversion grants. On the first day, Pañgulayan discussed the general legal framework on land use conversion, and emphasized that conversion is a rigorous process since it removes landholdings from CARP coverage. Thus, it is important that the State mandate on agrarian reform and social justice must always prevail.

Senior Agriculturist Jovette Tenorio of the Department of Agriculture (DA) discussed DA A.O. No. 1, Series of 2017 which provides the process before DA certifies whether or not the land is agricultural. It is indispensable in the DAR Action on Conversion Applications.

Engineer Joel Polintan of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) discussed technical matters governing conversion and exemption/exclusion of landholdings. He discussed the concept and meaning of the eighteen percent (18%) slope which is a ground for exemption provided that the land is undeveloped.

Principal Engineer A Eden Bulatao of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) discussed the NIA policies on the identification and certification of irrigated and irrigable lands which is needed in the processing of applications for land use conversion. Irrigated and irrigable lands are "non-negotiable" for conversion.

On the second day of the forum, OIC-RARAD Rolando Cua discussed the basic features of DAR A.O. No. 1, Series of 2002. He likewise discussed the substantive and procedural components of the DAR conversion process.

DAR OIC-Secretary Rosalina L. Bistoyong attended the forum on the final day after her attendance in a Conference on Climate Change in Germany. She stressed that while the DAR exercises exclusive authority on the conversion of agricultural lands, the foremost concern of the department is food security and social justice.

During the open forum, the discussion centered on the need to ensure the primacy of the land acquisition and distribution process, ­and at the same time, address the needs for progress and development through the conversion of lands only in specific and meritorious cases.

The government agencies agreed to examine possible areas where the separate processes can be streamlined for the immediate resolution of land use conversion cases with due regard to social justice and food security concerns.

The farmers' groups asserted the primacy of the land acquisition and distribution versus land use conversion.

The forum shall re-convene in February 2018.

AFP holds 2nd Cyber Security Summit

By Priam Nepomuceno (PNA)

MANILA -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) conducted Monday its second Cyber Security Summit to educate its personnel on persisting and emerging threats in the country’s cyber frontier.

“This undertaking is an educational and informational forum that will focus on cyber laws, threats, and application of technologies against advanced cyber security challenges,” AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.

Subject matter experts from Microsoft, 8Layer Technologies, and FireEye Solutions discussed awareness, strategies, trends, and threats, with some 100 participants from the AFP General Headquarters, Major Services, and Unified Commands.

Participants from the Department of National Defense, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Philippine National Police, and Philippine Coast Guard, were also present.

“Securing our IT infrastructure, through informed and trained personnel, will have a profound effect on the way we conduct our operations on the ground,” AFP Chief-of-Staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero said.

“Just as the threats around us are evolving, we too, in the security sector, must adapt and advance our strategies and capabilities to effectively respond to threats in the cyber security frontier,” he added.

The first Cyber Security Summit was held at the AFP Commissioned Officers Club in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City last June.

Quezon City goes digital with maternal, newborn database

By Camille A. Aguinaldo, News5

The Quezon City local government goes digital with its maternal and newborn health services, on Monday rolling out an “online information exchange database” that would quickly connect the medical records of mothers who gave birth at private lying-in clinics to the city’s health centers.

Called the Seal of Excellence Plus (SOE Plus), this initiative aims to remove delays in accessing maternal and newborn health services and to ensure the expeditious delivery of services, especially immunization or vaccination for infants.

According to Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista, SOE Plus is among the pocket programs of the city government that aims to reduce the number of deaths among mothers and newborns in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG).

“We want to make sure about the safety and the quality of service that these private lying-in clinics provide when it comes to maternal and child care. The most important objective of this program is the protection of mothers, pregnant women, and their children,” Bautista said in a mix of English and Filipino during the 5th Maternal and Neonatal Health Summit at Sequioa Hotel in Quezon City.

According to the UNSDG, the global maternal mortality ratio should be reduced to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.

Under the SOE Plus program, private lying-in clinics around Quezon City are required to submit medical records of mothers who give birth at their clinic and data on their infants to the city’s health centers.

The medical and health documents will be encoded through a computer application developed by the Information Technology (IT) Department of the Quezon City Government, and the data transmitted via internet to the city health center.

After receiving the records, the city health centers can ascertain the mothers and infants in their area and provide them the needed maternal and neonatal health services.

“The health center could locate the mother and her newly born infant, visit them, and encourage them to continue with the needed health services,” said Dr. Ramona Abarquez, coordinator of the Quezon City Health Department’s Maternal, Newborn, Child Health & Nutrition (MNCHN) program.

SOE Plus is an innovation on top of Quezon City’s current maternal health policies over private lying-in clinics, which was implemented last year, called the Seal of Excellence.

In partnership with United Laboratories Inc. (Unilab Inc.), the Seal of Excellence program monitors private lying-in clinics and gives recognition to clinics which have been fully compliant with the standards set by the Department of Health (DOH), PhilHealth, and the city’s local permit issuances.

Some 44 private lying-in clinics were given awards for meeting the quality healthcare standard for the citizens of Quezon City.

The Quezon City Health Department also presented a website for mothers to locate the nearest quality lying-in clinics from their residence.

Aside from the program’s benefits for Quezon City residents, Claire Papa, Unilab’s External Affairs and Social Partnerships Head, also stressed the importance of the data recording aspect of the program, especially when it comes to the city government’s plans on health policies.

“This is because health services, especially childbirth, are often registered improperly. The program is important for the city government, especially when it comes to creating a plan since you’re working on data,” she said in Filipino

“So, once the mother gives birth, the private lying-in clinic will be able to quickly register the newborn,” she added.

Mayor Bautista is also looking into expanding the online database to reach hospitals in Quezon City so doctors could immediately access medical records in cases of emergency.

If the Seal of Excellence proves successful, Bautista said further that Quezon City could adopt the same strategy for other health services, especially for senior citizens clinics, therapeutic clinics. chemotherapy clinics, or dialysis centers.

QC solon suggests to make P2P bus system more effective

By Ellson Quismorio

Quezon City 5th district Rep. Alfred Vargas, a member of the House transportation committee, suggested today a counterflow zipper lane on EDSA to aid the operation of the Point-to-Point (P2P) system.

Vargas made the suggestion even as he agreed to the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) plan to temporarily cancel the operations of Metro Rail Transit (MRT3) due to the poor condition of the trains.

Incidentally, the P2P buses system came into being as a result of the series of technical glitches of MRT3, thus giving commuters an alternative ride during rush hour. It was devised by the DOTr through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

“P2P bus is a better option, at least for now, while DOTr is fixing the technical aspect of the train system,” Vargas said.

He justified the zipper lane by noting that the P2P buses would be useless if commuters would be stuck in heavy traffic anyway.

Reports said that despite the daily glitches of the MRT, the riding public still patronizes it because of shorter travel time compared to that of buses and jeepneys.

In connection with this, the Quezon City solon will be filing a House Resolution urging the concerned government agencies to put up a counterflow zipper lane on EDSA during rush hour instead of the earlier proposed scheme of escorted P2P buses.

Vargas believes thatP2P buses need an exclusive single lane similar to the recently imposed ASEAN lane to become more effective and reliable.

In presenting his proposal, Vargas is expressing concern over the plight of 500,000 daily commuters of the MRT3 who will definitely suffer for the stoppage of its operations.

“Please, let’s not compromise the welfare of 500,000 daily commuters of the MRT3. These are hardworking Filipinos, contributing to our economy and nation-building, earning their day’s toil. P2P is a good alternative,” Vargas stressed.

Around 50,000 to 110,000 commuters ride MRT during rush hour on weekdays. The train system turns 18 years old next month.

Vargas said P2P buses should be allowed to use the specially designated one lane route in order to reduce travel time of south-bound motorists and vice-versa by as much as 20 minutes.

Earlier, the DoTR said it was considering stopping the operations of the MRT3 due to its poor condition. Among the recent technical incidents was the detachment of a coach from the train running northbound from the Ayala Station to Buendia Station.

QC distributes Q3 RPT share to 142 barangays


QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- Mayor Herbert Bautista has recently turned over to the city’s 142 barangays their real property tax share for the third quarter of the year 2017.

The Quezon City government has distributed a total of P7.3 million for District 1, P9.7 million for District 2, P17.9 million for District 3, P27.1 million for District 4, P33.2 million for District 5, and P36.4 million for District 6.

The distribution of real property tax share has been organized by the Barangay Operations Center (BOC) in coordination with the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO).

Among the barangays with the highest share are: Pasong Putik with P1,068,855.82, Nagkaisang Nayon with P1,062,398.36, and Socorro with P948, 514.84.

Under the Local Government Code of 1991 section 271, 30 percent of the proceeds from the basic real property tax of the barangays within Quezon City shall go back to the former.

The barangays will use the tax share to finance infrastructure improvement, local development and livelihood projects.

ABS-CBN opens event space in Quezon City

(ABS-CBN News)

MANILA – ABS-CBN recently launched its own event space located just a few minutes from its main office in Quezon City.

The ABS-CBN Vertis Tent has a seating capacity of 1,200 people, and a standing capacity of 2,000 people.

The air-conditioned space is located within the Ayala Vertis North complex in Quezon City. It will be the venue for ABS-CBN’s first Christmas bazaar from December 1 to 23.

“We knew there would be a need for this type of venue for the general public, corporate events, Ayala events and, of course, ABS-CBN. The ABS-CBN Vertis Tent is here to serve your event needs, whether personal or professional,” said ABS-CBN business development head Paolo Pineda.

Ayala Malls Group head Rowena Tomeldan, for her part, said: “Imagine all types of events we can stage here where we can connect the Filipinos and give them a different experience.”

Aside from the event space, ABS-CBN will also launch another project with Ayala Malls soon.

“Last year, we decided to open the first ever retail entertainment experience in the country at the very successful Trinoma mall across [Vertis North], and this store is actually scheduled to open within the first half of 2018,” Pineda said.

QC Participates in WB’s Competitive Cities TDD in Tokyo

(Quezon City Government Official Website)

Quezon City Administrator Aldrin Cuña represented the Quezon City Government in World Bank Tokyo Development Learning Center (TLDC), a forum that aims to provide city officials and decision-makers with practical tools, networks and experiences to push and lead economic development agenda in their cities.

The city administrator attended the Technical Deep Dive (TDD) in Tokyo from October 30 to November 3, 2017, to share Quezon City’s best practices on competitiveness and how it tackles problems in urbanization such as job creation and raising productivity, among others. Quezon City has been adjudged as “the country’s most competitive city”, for two consecutive years and has reaped various other awards on governance and innovation.

According to World Bank, cities generate more than 60 percent of global GDP. About three-quarters of the largest cities have also grown faster than their national economies since the early 2000s, the bank noted.

The contribution of cities to national and global economic development is partly attributed to higher productivity resulting from economies of urbanization and localization that attract skilled workers as well as more productive entrepreneurs and firms, the World Bank’s report “Competitive Cities: A Local Solution to a Global Lack of Growth and Jobs” said.

WB also pointed out the importance of public private coalitions in determining the direction for city economic development and on following policy levers that national and local government could access in driving competitiveness.

The Competitive Cities TDD is jointly organized by the World Bank Social, Urban, Rural and Resilient Global Practice (GSURR), the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, Competitive Cities Community of Practice (CoP), City of Kobe, City of Yokohama, and the Government of Japan.

DMCI books P3.5-B construction deal

By Leslie Gatpolintan (PNA)

MANILA -- Construction firm D.M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI) has signed construction contracts worth PHP3.5-billion in the third quarter of 2017, including the rehabilitation of La Mesa Water Treatment Plant 2 in Quezon City operated by DMCI subsidiary Maynilad Water Services Inc.

DMCI told the local bourse its newly-signed projects also include a 32-storey condominium building of Grand Pine, Inc., Maven at Capitol Commons of Ortigas& Co., and a petrochemical plant of JG Summit Petrochemical Corp.

These projects brought its total construction order book to PHP28.6 billion.

“We expect to sustain our double-digit earnings growth for the whole year. We have a healthy order book from repeat clients and leading corporations,” said DMCI President and Chief Executive Officer Jorge A. Consunji.

From January to September this year, DMCI was able to sign over PHP14 billion worth of new contracts, an 88 percent improvement from PHP7.9 billion last year.

DMCI’s net income during the same period increased 35 percent from PHP670 million to PHP904 million due to higher percentage of completion for ongoing projects and additional revenue from contract modifications.

Meanwhile, some of the major ongoing projects include Sections 1 and 2 of Citra Central Expressway Corporation's Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project, the Cavite-Laguna Expressway project (Laguna portion) of MPCALA Holdings, the Bued Viaduct and Roadway of Private Infra Development Corporation, Six Senses Resort of Federal Land, Anchor Grandsuites of Anchor Land Holdings and NCCC Mall of LTS Malls, Inc.

Groups seek support for kids right to safe toys, games

By Leilani Junio (PNA)

MANILA -- Ecowaste Coalition, together with school children and their parents in Quezon City, on Sunday called for the need to push for strong support for the protection of children’s right to safe toys and games.

"Through our event today, we hope to draw society's support to efforts aimed at ensuring children's access to safe and non-hazardous playthings that will contribute to their full intellectual, emotional and physical development, especially during their formative years," said Thony Dizon, chemical safety campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition.

As a way to draw public attention, the group paraded near the Circle of Joy area of Quezon Memorial Circle which is frequented by families to spend bonding moments during weekends.

They made a short program where children from San Vicente Elementary School were joined by an impersonator of "Santa Claus" to remind parents and children to prioritize safety when choosing and buying toys this coming Yuletide season as some toys did not go through quality and safety verification.

Dizon showed some examples of toys that are not safe for children as he enumerated some of the things to consider when buying toys for their kids or as gifts to other children.

He explained one by one how certain toys can cause danger to children.

Examples of said toys are sharp or pointed ones that can injure children; those containing small parts that are choking hazard; and other toys that are not properly labeled and may contain hazardous chemicals.

Dr. Visitacion Antonio, a pediatrician and toxicologist of East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) in QC, warned that toys that did not pass through quality and safety assessment may contain health-damaging chemicals such as cadmium, lead, mercury, phthalates and hazardous substances.

"Dapat nating alalahanin na ang mga bata sila ang vulnerable population (We should remember that children are the vulnerable population)," said Dr. Antonio adding that the effects of the health-damaging chemicals are higher among children and it is important that parents will be aware to properly guide their children.

She said damage to internal organs like kidney and liver may happen due to exposure to damaging chemicals in toys.

She added that such exposure to chemicals that may penetrate inside the body of children may lead to problems on proper brain development which are manifested through poor school performance.

"Nakikita natin ang bata bagsak ng bagsak sa exams sa school. kaya pala ganun ay hindi dahil bobo yung bata kundi dahil may tingga sa katawan niya," she further explained.

Lawyer Vic Dimagiba, president of Laban Konsumer, Inc. emphasized the need to enforce Republic Act 10620 or the Toy and Game Safety Labeling Act of 2013.

Dimagiba lamented that over four years have elapsed since the law was passed but up to now there is still no Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

He said the absence of IRR is the reason why they cannot file cases against manufacturers and importers that do not follow what the law provides.

His group plans to file a case of mandamus -- a judicial remedy in the form of an order from a superior court, to any government subordinate court, corporation, or public authority, to do (or forbear from doing) some specific act which that body is obliged by law to do (or refrain from doing), and which is in the nature of public duty) -- to press for the IRR.

He said they are also seeking public support and participation.

The activity is part of the commemoration of the third anniversary of the adoption by the Commission of Human Rights of the "The People's Right to Chemical Safety (November 14) and 28th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20.

Faster travel time along EDSA with P2P bus

By Aerol John Pateña (PNA)

MANILA -- Point to point buses (P2P) took an average of 50 minutes to travel from North Avenue in Quezon City to Ayala Avenue in Makati City Friday, considered relatively faster as compared to the usual travel time of around 1.5 hours during rush hours.

The government launched Friday the P2P bus scheme as a temporary alternative mode of transportation for Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) passengers who experience long queues amid frequent glitches in the railway system.

Eighteen buses from private operators and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) were deployed and served more than 1,000 passengers, said MMDA supervising officer for operations Bong Nebrija.

“The travel time was faster compared to the dry run yesterday,” Nebrija said in a text message to reporters.

The buses took 1 hour and 15 minutes to travel from Quezon City to Makati City during the test run Thursday which is more than the government’s target of 30 minutes despite being escorted by enforcers from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Philippine National Police -Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG).

This was caused by the heavy traffic along EDSA during the morning rush hour on Thursday and private vehicles using yellow lanes that are exclusive for public utility buses.

Under the scheme, P2P buses will be deployed from North Avenue to Ayala Avenue with a stopover at Ortigas during the morning rush hour from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Commuters may board buses at two separate pick-up points in Ayala Avenue and Taft Avenue going to North Avenue during the afternoon rush hour from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The buses will be charging fares similar to the MRT.

The MRT-3 system which runs from North Avenue to Taft Avenue, vice versa, is currently serving up to 500,000 passengers daily in excess of its maximum capacity of 350,000 passengers.

Metro Manila Subway project on track: DOTr

By Aerol John Pateña (PNA)

MANILA -- The construction of the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) is on track, with the groundbreaking set by fourth quarter of 2018, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.

In a statement, the DOTr reiterated that it is on track with the implementation of the subway system and targets to start a segment of the subway's operations before the end of the Duterte administration in 2022.

"The Metro Manila Subway Project is ON TRACK," the department said.

Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade has negotiated with the Japanese government to pursue the completion of a segment of the MMSP by the second quarter of 2022 instead of the original completion date for the entire system in 2025.

The Philippine and Japanese government will exchange notes during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit this month and sign a loan agreement in January 2018.

Officials will prepare the design of the subway, acquire right-of-way, and bid out construction and supply packages before the groundbreaking.

The PHP355.6 billion project will have fourteen stations from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City up to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The subway system is envisioned to be an underground mass transportation system connecting major business districts and government centers which is expected to serve 370,000 passengers daily in its opening year.

The following phases of the subway project would involve extending lines up to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan north of Metro Manila and up to Dasmarinas, Cavite south of Metro Manila.

200 solo parents receive livelihood assistance

By Alladin S. Diega

THE local government of Quezon City has distributed P10,000 worth of sari-sari store merchandise to each of the 200 solo parents chosen as beneficiaries of the “Tindahan ni Ate Joy” livelihood program of the Office of the Vice Mayor (OVM) last Friday.

This is the fifth year the Tindahan ni Ate Joy livelihood program is providing start-up business support for unemployed solo parents.

Vice Mayor Joy G. Belmonte has led the distribution of sari-sari store merchandise to solo-parent beneficiaries on October 24 at Quezon City Hall.

Some 900 solo parents have already benefited since the OVM has started the Tindahan ni Ate Joy in 2012, a separate statement said.

Belmonte said the Quezon City government also equips solo parents with basic entrepreneurship training seminars in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry.

The OVM also monitors the earnings of the beneficiaries after a year since they received the livelihood aid.

For mechanics, Belmonte said Quezon City solo parents who wish to avail themselves of the Tindahan ni Ate Joy livelihood program must submit to the OVM the following requirements: Solo Parent IDs from the Quezon City Social Services Development Department, proof of unemployment, living with school-age children, must be 30 to 60 years of age, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. membership forms and willing to participate in or have already attended entrepreneurial training seminars.

Meanwhile, Quezon City Mayor Herbert M. Bautista, who has recently attended the 12th Global Forum on Human Settlements in New York where he gave his commitment to institute measures that would improve the quality of life of his constituents, is set to inaugurate Tomas Morato Avenue redevelopment when he arrives later this week.

Bautista represented the Philippines in the forum organized by the United Nations to mark World Cities Day.

Bautista was set to formally open the west and east sides of the improved Tomas Morato Avenue sidewalk last Saturday, from Eugenio Lopez Sr. Avenue to E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue.

The city government has paved the 2.3-kilometer stretch of the pedestrian walk along Tomas Morato Avenue, with stamped concrete to give the public more walkable space. It also designated and installed a regulated parking zone.

The redevelopment project has also provided better illumination by installing brighter park and street lights that will help deter the crimes, especially at night.

Quezon City, in its advocacy as a “Green City,” has also included bike lanes and trees in the sidewalk improvement.

Agri dept all set for National Rice Awareness Month


QUEZON CITY -- The Department of Agriculture is gearing up this November for the celebration of National Rice Awareness Month (NRAM) through series of activities for the public to be more RICEponsible, a word play on rice and responsible.

With the theme, Ready? SET rice! RICEponsible Filipinos save rice, eat healthy, and try brown rice, this year’s celebration focuses on encouraging the public to consume the right proportion of rice and its healthy forms such as brown rice and rice mixes.

“The Philippines is still no doubt a rice-loving country. With the various diseases associated to eating too much rice, however, it is imperative to increase Filipinos’ awareness on how to enjoy our rice, the healthy way,” Myriam G. Layaoen, Be Riceponsible campaign director, said.

Kicking-off on Nov. 6 at Liwasang Aurora, Quezon City Memorial Circle, NRAM will be opened with the launching of pedal-type brown rice mill, technology bulletin, and Si Malakas at Maganda: Colored Rice Exhibition. Piolo Pascual together with his fellow rice ambassadors will also grace the opening program.

The agriculture department will spearhead the Brown Rice Day on Nov. 10 and Rice Mix Day, Nov. 17 in partnership with the Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines.

Moreover, the #RICEponsiblePlate Challenge, a social media contest that encourages consumers to prepare the "healthiest and most balanced meal in a plate, will be conducted throughout the month.

The month-long celebration will also promote pigmented rice varieties through a Fernando Amorsolo-inspired rice exhibition at QCX, curated by the Rice Science Museum of Philippine Rice Research Institute. Meanwhile, brown rice is further introduced through feeding programs.

“We encourage the public to be calorie-wise. A Harvard School of Public Health study has reported that the carbohydrate content of a bowl of rice is equivalent to two cans of soft drink. To be healthy, rice should only be 33% of our plate. Instead of white rice, we may want to consider brown and pigmented rice; and eat more corn grits, saba, cassava, and camote,” Layaoen stressed.

Zumba with a rice twist and cultural presentations on rice will close the celebration on Nov. 24 at Planas Garden, Quezon City Memorial Circle.

QC adopts disaster contingency plan

(The Manila Times)

The Quezon City Council has passed a resolution adopting the formulation and implementation of the Quezon City Contingency Plan (QCCP) for flood and earthquake as stated in the Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Operations Manual (QCDRRMC OM).

The QCCP and QCDRRMC OM set the standard response in a worst-case scenario and the standard operating procedure during emergencies and calamities.

City Resolution 7098-2017, introduced by Councilor Ramon P. Medalla, acknowledges the importance of having a ready contingency plan during floods and earthquakes.

The Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (LDRRMP) should be in accordance with the national, regional, and provincial framework. Policies on disaster risk reduction should be in close coordination with Local Development Councils (LDCs).

“The formulation and implementation of the QCCP for flood, earthquake, and QCDRRMC OM is anchored on the scientific knowledge and deep understanding of the city hazards, vulnerability and risk to human induced or natural disaster or calamities, and has undertaken a collaborative and comprehensive planning process with the help of Earthquake and Megacities Initiatives (EMI),” the resolution read.

The plan and the operations manual are in compliance with Section 21 of RA 10121 which states that local disaster councils shall monitor and evaluate the use and disbursement of funds.

Quezon City has invested P300 million for public safety, particularly programs and projects that enhance disaster preparedness and response capability.

DPWH opens 2 more lanes along Quezon Ave.

By Ferdinand Patinio (PNA)

MANILA -- The traffic flow along the west-bound side of Quezon Ave. from Elliptical Road to Agham Road in Quezon City is expected to improve with the completion of the PHP62 million widening and drainage improvement project by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said from four lanes, the 571-lineal meter portion of Quezon Ave. west bound has been widened to six lanes.

“The two additional lanes will cater to at least 164 public utility jeeps (PUJs), 427 private cars, and 321 motorcycles per hour during rush hour,” he said in a statement.

Villar, together with National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Ernesto Pernia, led the inauguration of the project on Friday.

He noted that aside from traffic decongestion, the road has a reinforced concrete box culvert that would mitigate flooding in the area.

The new drainage system will particularly increase the capacity of the Tanque Creek by 112 percent as it now measures 5.3 meters by 3 meters, bigger than the previous 3 meters by 2.5 meters box culvert along the road.

The project is aligned with the existing two outermost service lane approaching Agham Road and EDSA where traffic is being decongested.