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Quezon City News October 2014

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Quezon City - Archived News

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The Founder Manuel Quezon
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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

DAR conducts seminar for DAR lawyers, adjudicators


QUEZON CITY, Oct 31 -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has conducted a seminar for DAR lawyers and adjudicators to update them with the current developments in agrarian reform laws, jurisprudence and administrative issuances for them to be responsive and effective in the delivery of agrarian cases.

A total of 204 lawyers and adjudicators of the Department gathered at the Sequoia Hotel in Quezon City for a five-day live-in uniquely customized seminar that squarely addressed their specific needs for their professional enhancement and skills development.

WEB 02DAR 6724In partnership with the Institute for the Administration of Justice of the University of the Philippines Law Center, the seminar tackled major issues and concerns usually encountered by DAR legal personnel, which included legal framework for smallholder business organizations, issues on Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act (FRIA), credit, insurance and tax in agrarian reform, the documentation of land acquisition and distribution (LAD) cases and the latest DAR Administrative Orders and transferability laws.

Also discussed were inter and intra-corporate dispute of non- stock and non-profit corporation, updates on civil service decisions, rules and regulations, judicial affidavit rule and decision writing, pre-writing, drafting and revising pleadings and court documents, procurements laws and updates on the cooperative code, among others.

WEB 03DAR 6724Aside from Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes, well-known and respected individuals in their fields of expertise took turns in presenting before DAR legal personnel their views on the various topics stated earlier. They included Court of Appeals Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh, ASG Renan E. Ramos of Office of the Solicitor General, Deputy Administrator Robert Nomar V. Leyretana of Land Registration Administration, Augusto P. Quijano, agrarian reform advocate and Dean Jose Manuel I. Diokno of DLSU Law.

The seminar, a project of the Undersecretary of Legal Affairs Office (ULAO) in coordination with the Agrarian Reform Capacity Development Service (ARCDS), was developed to enhance the knowledge of DAR lawyers and adjudicators on agrarian laws, jurisprudence and related administrative issuances, thus strengthen agrarian justice delivery.

QCPD personnel undergo bomb disposal training

By Third Anne Peralta (Sunnex)

THE Quezon City Police District (QCPD) conducted a one-day bomb identification and detection seminar to its personnel to enhance their knowledge in responding to bomb related threats, an official said.

In the wake of the series of bomb threats in several universities in Metro Manila over the past months, QCPD director Chief Superintendent Joel Pagdilao said it is essential for police personnel, not only to the members of the bomb squad, to know how to identify and detect possible bomb threat to be able for them to respond accordingly.

In 2014 alone, five schools in the Metro Manila, including three universities in Quezon City, have received bomb threats, causing disruption of the classes and fear among students and employees.

The three universities were the University of the Philippines, Miriam College and the Ateneo de Manila University.

Pagdilao said the training, which was facilitated by the QCPD Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) head Noel Sublay and members of the EOD Team, will enable participants to be proficient in detecting Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and will provide them with the tools necessary in deciding whether the threats are credible and what course of action should be taken.

Participants were 50 personnel from the 12 QCPD police stations and District Public Safety Battalion (DPSB) who were detailed for patrol as they are "most likely to be the first responder."

"This seminar is important since this is a proactive approach in educating the QCPD personnel on how to act and identify bomb related threats. This training does not only ensure that one can respond quickly to a threat, it can save lives and possibly prevent further damage," Pagdilao said.

Public invited to see advances in nuclear science, technology


QUEZON CITY, Oct. 29 (PIA) -- The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology (PNRI-DOST) will soon open its facilities to the public and feature the latest advances in nuclear science and technology in the country.

In a statement, the PNRI said this is part of the 42nd Atomic Energy Week (AEW) celebration on December 8-12, 2014 wherein the agency will show various uses of nuclear technology in agriculture, industry, medicine and the environment.

The public may visit the PNRI compound along Commonwealth Avenue in Diliman, Quezon City during the said dates.

This year’s AEW celebration will focus on theme, “The Philippines: Moving Forward with Nuclear Science and Technology".

The activities slated for the week-long celebration include the AEW opening ceremonies on December 8; technical sessions on December 9 and 10; the Philippine Nuclear Science Quiz (PNSQ) for high school students on December 11, and closing/awarding ceremonies with A Night at PNRI on December 12.

The inauguration of the PNRI Electron Beam Facility as well as the turnover of an environmental radiation monitor from the South Korean government will also be held during the celebration.

Free guided tours to PNRI laboratories and facilities and viewing of exhibits and film showing are available daily from morning to afternoon.

The annual AEW celebration, as mandated under Presidential proclamation No. 1211 in 1973, aims to generate awareness of the Filipino people on the beneficial uses of nuclear science and technology in food and agriculture, industry, medicine and the environment.

For more information on the activities, please contact the PNRI Nuclear Information and Documentation Section at 920-8787 and 929-6011 to 19 local 286, or send your emails to information@pnri.dost.gov.ph, or visit www.pnri.dost.gov.ph.

QC Circle roadshow to focus on values

(Manila Standard Today)

A special values-based infotainment, “Gawin and Tama (GAT) Roadshow”

will be held at the Quezon Memorial Circle by the Character Building Foundation Inc. (CBFI)in partnership with allied private and public institutions and the city government.

Lined up for the event on November 16, 2014 are John Lesaca, Dra. Tonton Pascual, “Daddy’s Home” Trio, Tito Cris Castro The Magician, Tatlong Pinoy,

Makabata Foundation (a Children’s Theatre), singers and bands from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police and other young stars and surprise guests.

The Gawinang Tama National Movement was launched in March 2010 at Taguig City spearheaded by the CBFI and partners including the AFP, PNP, Manila International Airport Authority and various agencies operating at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Cities of Taguig and San Juan, Eugenio Lopez Foundation, Makabata Para sa Bayan, Film Artist Group, Bantay Bayan, Weber Shandwick Worldwide, Clark International Airport and other groups.

The CBFI is a non-stock, non-profit organization founded by veteran TV Director Heidi “Direk” Sison, registered under Philippine laws with the primary purpose of creating awareness of strong positive character , with the core values of Honesty, Integrity and Hardwork, as the foundation of a progressive nation.

For the past 12 years, the CBFI has been conducting training programs to over 150,000 direct participants as well as trainees/ trainors on best practices.

“Even with the advent of the social media revolution, or precisely because of this, our global citizens, especially the youth, have been confused, if not been outright lost and misdirected, on the time honored traditions of good values, family and God-centered living,” the foundation said in a statement.

“While we see the heightened quality of technology, there is now a dearth of honest to goodness values-based entertainment for instance, and general information sharing, in general. We see this happening amongst rich and poor countries alike.”

CBFI has been inspired by the policy of the new administration to expand and affirm that doing right (GAWIN ANG TAMA) is the real foundation of a progressive nation.

4-day QC book fair opens at City Hall

(Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines–The Quezon City government is inviting bookworms to a four-day book fair at City Hall starting Monday.

The fair, one of the events marking the city’s 75th founding anniversary, will also give students a chance to browse through the collection of books of the Quezon City Library and Information Center and the National Book Development Board.

The open library will run until Thursday at the city hall lobby and pathway. Local government officials, including Mayor Herbert Bautista, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte and several councilors, will lead storytelling sessions for daycare students throughout the four-day event.

The book fair will also feature a mascot parade, a film showing and a chance for locals to go on board the city’s mobile library.

QC to offer free movies for PWDs

By Henry Atuelan (DZMM,ABS-CBNnews.com)

MANILA -- The local government of Quezon City has approved a proposal to provide free movie tickets to persons with disabilities (PWD).

According to Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, the city council has approved the proposal to provide free movie tickets to all PWDs on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The city earlier implemented a similar ordinance providing free movie tickets to senior citizens.

The ordinance is in accordance with Republic Act 7277, or the Magna Carta of Disabled Persons, which provides additional privileges to PWDs.

Doctors prescribe exercise as medicine

By Jocelyn R. Uy (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines—If your doctor prescribes exercise as medicine, don’t be surprised.

A number of primary care physicians and healthcare providers in the country have undergone a prescription training course under the Exercise is Medicine (EIM) Philippines initiative, according to doctor Rosa Allen Sy, endocrinologist and past president of the Philippine Association Society for the Study of Overweight and Obesity (Passoo).

Launched last year by Passoo, EIM is a campaign focused on encouraging doctors to include exercise when designing treatment plans for their patients.

At a health forum in Quezon City on Tuesday, Sy said Filipinos must include exercise in their daily routine to help curb the growing prevalence of obesity in the country. Obesity, due to lack of physical activity and unhealthy diet, is a risk factor for a wide range of chronic diseases.

Citing the latest National Nutrition Survey of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, she said the number of overweight and obese Filipinos has jumped from 16.6 percent in 1993 to 29.9 percent in 2013. This even if there was a decreasing trend in the prevalence of chronic energy deficiency in the country, from 13.9 percent to 10.3 percent over the last 20 years.

Based on the study, three in every 10 Filipinos are overweight or obese, with more Filipino women having bigger waistlines.

The survey, conducted from June 2013 to April 2014, showed that 34.4 percent of Filipino women were obese while 27.6 percent of their male counterpart fall under the category.

More women also have high waist circumference at 23.1 percent compared to the men at 3.8 percent, according to the study.

Sy said Filipinos must overcome obesity to prevent premature deaths due to noncommunicable diseases, and this can be done through dietary intervention and exercise with the help and guidance of their doctors.

She noted that several doctors have just finished the training in July. Another batch will be trained later this year or early next year.

DepEd, UP-CFA train visual artists and practitioners


QUEZON CITY, Oct 24 -- In its mission to provide quality K to 12 learning materials, the Department of Education (DepEd), in partnership with the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts (UP-CFA), conducted a five-day workshop for 35 DepEd visual artists and practitioners to enhance learning and teaching resources.

“We want to ensure young learners’ interest in our learning materials. We can do this by putting photographs and artwork in our textbooks,” DepEd Undersecretary for Programs and Projects Dina S. Ocampo said. Ocampo also said that DepEd aims to raise the quality of its learning materials. “Visuals are only one aspect. Ultimately, we want learning materials that do not only sustain learners’ interest to learn but also help them learn.”

DepEd Instructional Materials Council Secretariat (IMCS) Director Socorro A. Pilor emphasized the role of visuals in teaching. “Visuals are important especially among early grade students. Effective visuals help them understand and enjoy their lessons more.”

The workshop was designed to enhance participants’ skill in creating contextualized and effective illustrations for learner’s materials and teacher’s guides. It included discussion and application of practices in publishing, visual design, visual perception, and photography. The workshop ran from October 13 to 17 at UP Diliman.

CSC awards ARTA partners


QUEZON CITY, Oct 23 (PIA) -- The Civil Service Commission (CSC) recognized its Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) partners, during their ARTA Testimonial Rites, dubbed “Celebrating Excellence in Public Frontline Service,” held on 22 October 2014 at the Luxent Hotel in Quezon City.

CSC Chairman Francisco T. Duque III, in his inspirational message, said that with the integration of ARTA into our programs, we make possible changes in the government service. He said that these “changes are real, ramdam na ramdam ng bawat Juan at Juana (utterly felt by Filipino men and women)."

Duque added that the awards given were not only based on the standards of CSC, but also from the Report Card Survey conducted by Pulse Asia.

Awards given included the 2014 ARTA Breakthrough Agencies, and these were: Landbank of the Philippines, Commission on Higher Education, Philippine Health Insurance Commission, Department of trade and Industry, and Public Attorney’s Office. The Breakthrough Award was given to agencies who passed the Report Card Survey and who were given the Seal of Excellence Awards.

Another set of awards were given to the Best Performing CSC Regional Offices, and these were: CSC-National Capital Region, CSC-Regional Offices II and VI. The recognition was given to the said regional offices as they have accorded the interest of the Filipino clientele the primacy they deserve as they demonstrated in their performance, enabling a systematic process of assessing and improving public frontline.

The role of the media was also given importance as they, too, were given awards for informing the public on the ARTA Law. Media awardees were DZMM and Konsyumer Atbp. program, Philippine Broadcasting Service-Radyo ng Bayan, Philippine Information Agency, GMA Network, Net25, and TV5.

DENR wants ‘much bigger role’ for LGUs in biodiversity conservation


QUEZON CITY, Oct. 22 -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is hosting a two-day national conference for some local government units (LGUs) to prepare them for a much bigger role in biodiversity conservation.

The National Conference on Local Conservation Areas, to be held at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria in Pasig City on October 23-24, will address the theme “Diversifying and Strengthening Participatory Governance in Biodiversity Conservation.”

DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said the agency’s Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) will bring together representatives from LGUs and key conservation groups in a bid to develop more effective operative models for the establishment of local conservation areas (LCAs) and critical habitats.

The environment chief said the conference will also pay tribute to LGUs and their leaders who have exhibited good practice in managing conservation areas, and are willing to share their experiences for other LGUs to emulate.

“The conference is a big boost to biodiversity conservation as we intend to produce more LGUs recognizing that an umbilical cord exists between their local economy and the health of their ecosystems,” Paje said.

During the conference, case studies on the challenges and opportunities in conservation of key biodiversity areas will be presented, highlighting current and future initiatives in LCAs.

There will also be a wide-ranging discussion on the issues of tourism, incentives to LGUs to take proactive roles in biodiversity conservation, and biodiversity-friendly practices in agriculture and fisheries.

Expected to grace the event include senior officials from the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Tourism, DENR and some 200 local executives.

LCAs are areas that are not within protected areas pursuant to the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act of 1992, but have been set aside for conservation purposes through ordinances, with the local government taking the lead in implementing conservation and protection activities.

These sites are located within key biodiversity areas identified by the DENR-BMB, the Conservation International Philippines and the Haribon Foundation.

LCAs include areas of high biological diversity or those vulnerable to climate change and geological hazards, and locally significant areas with ecotourism potentials like the Chocolate Hills in Bohol province.

QC named one of Pag-ibig Fund's top developers of 2014


QUEZON CITY, October 21 (PIA) - Quezon City (QC) was recently recognized as one of Pag-Ibig Fund’s Top 20 Developers in a ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza in Ortigas Avenue on October 15, 2014.

Vice President and Pag-Ibig Fund Chairman Jejomar Binay presented the award to QC Mayor Herbert M. Bautista who represented the city.

Under the QC’s socialized housing program, the city has produced at least 2,415 housing units, with 8,179 more being planned to be constructed. The program aims to provide decent housing and proper resettlement for informal settlers and keep them safe from flood-prone and disaster-risk areas.

The development of several in-city socialized housing projects was made possible through various modes of public-private partnerships.

From 2011 to 2013, the city government has developed six large socialized housing projects called Bistekville. The housing units are valued at Php 400,000 each and beneficiaries can pay the housing units through various amortization schemes.

The concept in socialized housing has opened participation to civic organizations such as Gawad Kalinga or Habitat for Humanity, housing developers such as Phinma and private land owners who formed joint ventures with the City Government.

To provide poor families access with the loan for the acquisition of the unit, the city has also partnered with financing institutions such as the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-Ibig) and the Socialized Housing Finance Corporation.

‘Bikini island’ rises on EDSA-North Avenue

(With report by Maricar B. Brizuela)

No, it’s not the latest giant distracting billboard, but something that might ease traffic flow along EDSA-North Avenue. Motorists should be prepared for changes in the flow of traffic at the Edsa-North Avenue intersection in Quezon City beginning this week, including a “bikini island.”

As part of the road safety program of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA), changes will be implemented in the traffic management plan for the area, including the eventual closure of U-turn slots.

But first, the MMDA will construct a bikini island—a triangular rotunda—at the busy intersection so that vehicles traveling westbound from North Avenue would no longer have to make a U-turn to get to the opposite lane.

“We have observed that the chokepoints on Edsa corner North Avenue and Congressional Avenue are caused by U-turn slots in the area so as a solution, starting this week, we will adjust bus separators, remove some unloading bays and modify U-turn slot locations,” MMDA General Manager Emerson Carlos said during the agency’s Sunday radio program.

He later clarified to the Inquirer that they would close down the U-turn slots once the bikini island was in place.

“Those vehicles making a U-turn are obstructing cars plying Edsa which are going straight to Monumento,” Carlos explained.

In addition, steel fences in front of Trinoma mall would be installed to discourage buses from stopping to pick up passengers in the area—another cause of heavy traffic near the intersection.

“We really need to instill discipline because commuters waiting on the road could be hard to control especially if there are quite a number of them,” Carlos said.

He warned that those who wait for buses in no-loading areas would be fined since they could be considered jaywalking. Under an MMDA resolution, jaywalkers are fined P500 and required to clean esteros for three hours instead of attending a disaster seminar.

“Maybe this engineering intervention as part of traffic management will also curb the [bad] behavior of our road users,” Carlos said.

AFP honors Army paddlers

By Chito A. Chavez

QUEZON CITY – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) honored the members of the Philippine Army Dragon Boat team in a simple ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Thursday, October 16, 2014.

AFP Chief of Staff General Gregorio Pio P. Catapang, Jr. awarded a Plaque of Recognition to the Army paddlers for their excellent performance in the recent 9th International Dragon Boat Federation Club Crews World Championships held in Italy.

Public Affairs Chief and team president Lt. Col. Harold M. Cabunoc said the AFP chief, General Catapang wants to highlight the achievements of soldiers not just in military operations, but also in sports.

“He is very proud of the accomplishments of our soldiers,” Cabunoc added.

The team bagged two gold medals and new world records in the 200m and 500m Premier Open events.

The team was branded as the “Fastest boat crew in the planet” after setting new World Records in the 200m and 500m Small Boat Open Category with record time of 47.85 and 2:06.763 respectively.

The Army paddlers is currently preparing for the upcoming Dragon Boat Regatta in Penang, Malaysia according to the AFP.

QC takes crack at Guinness mark

By Chito A. Chavez

Some 40,000 public high school students in Quezon City, taking another stab at a possible Guiness World Record, are expected to show off their dancing skills today as part of the city’s year-long celebration of its 75th founding anniversary.

Dubbed, “Indakan ng mga Estudyante sa QC” the activity features high school students doing their march from Araneta Avenue to the famed Amoranto Stadium Complex as early as 6 a.m. Secretary to the Mayor Tadeo Palma said the street dance one of the spectacles organized by the city government can be another bid of the city to enter the Guinness World Record.

“The students’ street dancing this Sunday is also a good event that we could try for the Guinness World Record, where our city may be known,” he said.

Last Sunday, an estimated 15,000 dancing aficionados from the city’s six districts braved the heavy rains that could have easily surpassed the record of 6,671 Zumba participants set at the People’s Plaza at Necklace Road in Hyderabad, India on Sept. 15, 2012 if not for some technicalities.

Organizers said that the technicality was brought about by the problems involving the registration of the participants.

Other events lined-up for the QC Diamond Jubilee are the Novaliches Got Talent (October 24); Children’s Bridge to the Future: Books and Libraries (October 27-30); International Film Festival (November 5-11); Quezon City International Night Marathon (November 29); Lights and Sounds Show (November 29); International Pink Film Festival December 9-15); and QC LGBT Grand Pride March (December 13).

The Quezon City Council led by Majority Floor Leader Jesus Manuel Suntay and Councilors Allan Benedict reyes, Donato Matias, Victor Ferrer Jr., Gian Sotto, Jaime Borres, Marvin Rillo, Pinggoy Lagumbay and Don De Leon credited Palma for the successful year-long celebration of the city’s Diamond Jubilee.

Road repairs set this weekend in QC


QUEZON CITY, 17 October (PIA) – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will undertake reblocking and road repair works in parts of Quezon City this weekend.

According to the DPWH, reblocking and road repairs will start at 10:00 PM, Friday, October 17 until 5:00 AM of Monday, October 20, 2014.

Areas set for road repairs include: Araneta Avenue from Maria Clara St. to Quezon Avenue (2nd lane, Southbound); Fairview Ave. from Fairlane St. to Camaro St. (2nd lane, Southbound); along Mindanao Ave. from Congressional Ave. to Road 8 (2nd lane, Southbound); E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave. /C-5 between Mercury Ave. and Richmond Ave. (2nd lane, Southbound); C.P. Garcia Ave. from University Ave. to fronting ICTO Bldg. (2nd lane, Northbound); along Congressional Ave. from Gertrudes St. to Ayshire St. (1st lane, Westbound) and April St. to Mindanao Ave. (2nd lane, Eastbound); and along Congressional Ave. extension from corner Luzon Ave. to Miranila Ave. (2nd lane, Westbound) and Viologo St. to Gabriela Silang St (2nd lane, Eastbound).

Motorists and the public are advised to take note of affected areas to avoid inconvenience.

‘Good Samaritan QC cop’ goes viral on social media

With report by Jaymee T. Gamil

There are still good cops around. A photo of a Quezon city policeman has gone ‘viral’ online—this time, it’s a positive one. The subject of the Facebook post is Project 4 policeman, SPO1 Ariel Camiling, of the QCPD Station 8, who helped a stranded couple with their stalled vehicle along the northbound lane of Edsa last Saturday.

In the photos posted by motorist Joann Angeles Delos Santos on Oct. 11, Camiling was shown patiently tinkering with the couple’s engine.

Delos Santos narrated that Camiling and another policeman, who were aboard a nearby police mobile, approached her and her husband after the couple had spent more than two hours stuck near the Gate 4 of Camp Aguinaldo on Saturday.

“We [were in] a rush to be home this morning as it [was] our children’s family day at school,” Delos Santos said, in her post.

“After several attempts, the car still didn’t start. We were already hopeless and tired,” Delos Santos said.

Adding to Delos Santos’ stress were tow-trucks who were already “pestering” the couple to avail of their services.

“Several minutes after, one of the two policemen approached us to ask what’s wrong. I was so frightened that he might give us a ticket and force us to be towed … He checked the car, and he found what caused the problem—the contact point in the distribution assembly broke. Good thing we have a spare!” Delos Santos narrated.

“So [Camiling] guided my husband in replacing it and adjusted the installation until the car went live again. He stayed with us to make sure that everything was alright,” Delos Santos said.

“We offered him a small amount for ‘merienda’ but he turned it down. I took the liberty to snap some candid pictures while he was fixing our car as he may not allow me to do it once he’s done,” Delos Santos said.

Delos Santos said she believed Camiling deserved a commendation, for being a “selfless and generous police officer,” so she started circulating his photos.

“In the middle of controversies involving our police force these days, I want to inform and share to all Filipinos that there truly are government personnel and officials that still do good, who go beyond their duties without asking for anything in return,” Delos Santos said, in Filipino.

Newly installed Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director, Senior Supt. Joel Pagdilao, has already taken notice of Delos Santos’ post, and has given Camiling a pat on the back on Wednesday.

“In these times…that the PNP organization faces some negative criticisms, it is heartening to have policeman like SPO1 Camiling who has shown a remarkable display of deeds worthy of emulation by all in the police service,” Pagdilao said, in a statement.

“SPO1 Camiling, who is already in the police service for 31 years, truly lives by our motto as the Quezon City’s Pride,” Pagdilao added.

Microtel at UP Technohub embraces booming IT and commercial biz

(Lifestyle Section, InterAksyon.com)

It’s an idea that has been with the Quezon City government for many years now but no one seemed to take up the challenge, said Quezcon City Mayor Herbert Bautista at the launch of the newest hotel in Quezon City.

On October 10, Microtel by Wyndham formally launched its 13th property to business and leisure guests at UP-Ayala Land Technohub, a booming IT and commercial development in QC. The newest Microtel property aims to complement the PEZA-listed area, which is home to technology and business incubators, research firms, BPOs, restaurants, and numerous commercial establishments.

Although known for its no-frills, back-to-basics, limited-service concept, the new Microtel by Wyndham hotel—just like the other properties—has its stand out features that’s redefining the concept of an “economy” hotel.

For one, it has chiropractic beds directly sourced from the US, guaranteeing guests a good night’s sleep because of the its “healthy for the back” feature.

Like its other properties, the new Microtel at UP Technohub is also a dining destination. Over at Millie’s restaurant, Filipino Executive Chef Gino Santayana and Italian F&B Director Enzo Ciliani made sure to bring in the property’s bestsellers such as its baby back ribs, hand-made gnocchi, osso bucco, bistek Tagalog, and a lot more. During the formal launch, delicious macarons of various flavors were also served to the crowd’s delight.

The six-storey hotel also features 120 spacious rooms that are classified as either a two-queen bedroom or one-queen bedroom suite. Each room has a 32-inch cable LED TV, telephone, safety deposit box, and most important, high-speed LAN and WIFI internet access. As an added feature, the suites have a mini-kitchenette and a sofa bed.

At the roof deck is the lap pool area, which offers a clear view of the sky—no mega buildings as distraction. Come out at night to gaze at the stars. There are lounging chairs and regular chairs and tables for one’s use.

In keeping up with the demands of its neighboring corporate centers, the hotel has a function room aptly called the Oblation, which can accommodate about 200 people. For smaller gatherings, there are three meeting rooms good for 30 persons. sofa

Rates range from Php3,199 for the double bedroom and Php4,199 for the queen bed suite. It includes breakfast for two persons, welcome drinks, WiFi access at the lobby and discount in other Microtel Hotels nationwide. The promo runs till December 30, 2014. From corporate affairs to personal celebrations, Mictorel UP Technohub's function rooms can accommodate about 200 people. Photo courtesy of Microtel Philippines.

From corporate affairs to personal celebrations, Mictorel UP Technohub’s function rooms can accommodate about 200 people. Photo courtesy of Microtel Philippines.

Microtel is the world’s largest and most diverse hotel company with 7,540 hotels worldwide in 71 countries under 17 hotel brands.

Microtel Philippines currently has 13 properties at Acropolis Q.C., Baguio, Batangas, Boracay, Cabanatuan, Cavite, Davao, General Santos, Manila, Puerto Princesa, South Forbes (near Nuvali, Sta. Rosa), Tarlac, and UP Technohub Q.C. All Microtel by Wyndham hotels in the Philippines are managed by Microtel Development Corp., the hospitality arm of the PHINMA Group.

• Microtel by Wyndham-UP Technohub is located on Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City. For inquiries and reservations, call the Manila Sales Office at 899-7171, e-mail sales@microtel.ph or log on to www.microtelphilippines.com.

Ateneo opens bike lanes to ease Katipunan traffic

With report by Maricar B. Brizuela

A bike-sharing program has been initiated near one of the most heavily-clogged roads in Metro Manila. To prevent traffic jams during rush hour and reduce pollution on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has launched the “Bike-kadahan” project on the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) campus.

On the agency’s Sunday radio program, MMDA General Manager Cora Jimenez said the “share-a-bike” program was aimed at reducing the number of vehicles entering the school grounds and ease traffic on the busy thoroughfare.

“We also want to encourage students and school personnel to exercise and lessen pollution in their surroundings,” Jimenez added.

According to MMDA Traffic Discipline Office head Cris Saruca, more than 5,000 vehicles go inside the AdMU campus in the morning on school days—a number the agency was hoping to trim down.

Saruca said that bike lanes and bike stops had already been designated on the school grounds, with the bike lane starting at the corner of Katipunan Avenue and F. de la Rosa Street near Gate 3.

“The MMDA has placed there around 50 bicycles that students and university personnel can borrow for free,” he added.

Launched in some areas by the MMDA in March, the “Bike-kadahan” program is aimed at promoting biking as an alternative mode of transportation and providing safe parking spaces for the two-wheeled vehicles.

Anyone can borrow bicycles as long as they present a valid identification card in exchange for a card bearing the bike number. The bike-sharing project initially kicked off on the northbound lane of Magallanes to Ayala in Makati followed by the opening of two more bike lanes in Quezon City: Ortigas to Santolan (Edsa northbound) and from White Plains Edsa to Temple Drive.

Jimenez said that the MMDA’s ultimate goal was to have bike lanes connecting all cities in Metro Manila.

“We are continuously studying those plans because we also want to provide safe and unobstructed areas for bikers,” she added.

At the same time, she expressed hope that the bike-sharing scheme would work in Ateneo and be adopted in other universities as well.

In a statement released last Friday, AdMU Campus Safety and Mobility Office director Marcelino Mendoza said that they were coordinating with the MMDA in making sure that “traffic inside Ateneo [would] fit the current traffic scheme [on] Katipunan.”

“We coordinate our traffic scheme inside the campus with MMDA and we get feedback from different unit representatives and parents’ groups. We consult and get feedback from them so that our direction in solving the problem will be much easier and direct to the community,” Mendoza added.

He also noted that the bike-lending program would help in promoting low-carbon mobility inside the campus.

“We are planning to improve the bike tracks inside the university. Another plan is to improve the path and security measures from the Aurora drop-off point since many students and staff take that route,” he said.

Saruca, meanwhile, said that the MMDA had also coordinated with Miriam College officials on easing traffic congestion on Katipunan Avenue.

“They have already placed no loading and no unloading signs near Gate 1 and closed the pedestrian gate so that cars will unload student passengers [only] inside the college campus,” he stated, adding that traffic near Miriam College has greatly improved since the installation of traffic lights on the busy thoroughfare.

Ateneo opens bike lanes to ease Katipunan traffic

With report by Maricar B. Brizuela

A bike-sharing program has been initiated near one of the most heavily-clogged roads in Metro Manila. To prevent traffic jams during rush hour and reduce pollution on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has launched the “Bike-kadahan” project on the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) campus.

On the agency’s Sunday radio program, MMDA General Manager Cora Jimenez said the “share-a-bike” program was aimed at reducing the number of vehicles entering the school grounds and ease traffic on the busy thoroughfare.

“We also want to encourage students and school personnel to exercise and lessen pollution in their surroundings,” Jimenez added.

According to MMDA Traffic Discipline Office head Cris Saruca, more than 5,000 vehicles go inside the AdMU campus in the morning on school days—a number the agency was hoping to trim down.

Saruca said that bike lanes and bike stops had already been designated on the school grounds, with the bike lane starting at the corner of Katipunan Avenue and F. de la Rosa Street near Gate 3.

“The MMDA has placed there around 50 bicycles that students and university personnel can borrow for free,” he added.

Launched in some areas by the MMDA in March, the “Bike-kadahan” program is aimed at promoting biking as an alternative mode of transportation and providing safe parking spaces for the two-wheeled vehicles.

Anyone can borrow bicycles as long as they present a valid identification card in exchange for a card bearing the bike number. The bike-sharing project initially kicked off on the northbound lane of Magallanes to Ayala in Makati followed by the opening of two more bike lanes in Quezon City: Ortigas to Santolan (Edsa northbound) and from White Plains Edsa to Temple Drive.

Jimenez said that the MMDA’s ultimate goal was to have bike lanes connecting all cities in Metro Manila.

“We are continuously studying those plans because we also want to provide safe and unobstructed areas for bikers,” she added.

At the same time, she expressed hope that the bike-sharing scheme would work in Ateneo and be adopted in other universities as well.

In a statement released last Friday, AdMU Campus Safety and Mobility Office director Marcelino Mendoza said that they were coordinating with the MMDA in making sure that “traffic inside Ateneo [would] fit the current traffic scheme [on] Katipunan.”

“We coordinate our traffic scheme inside the campus with MMDA and we get feedback from different unit representatives and parents’ groups. We consult and get feedback from them so that our direction in solving the problem will be much easier and direct to the community,” Mendoza added.

He also noted that the bike-lending program would help in promoting low-carbon mobility inside the campus.

“We are planning to improve the bike tracks inside the university. Another plan is to improve the path and security measures from the Aurora drop-off point since many students and staff take that route,” he said.

Saruca, meanwhile, said that the MMDA had also coordinated with Miriam College officials on easing traffic congestion on Katipunan Avenue.

“They have already placed no loading and no unloading signs near Gate 1 and closed the pedestrian gate so that cars will unload student passengers [only] inside the college campus,” he stated, adding that traffic near Miriam College has greatly improved since the installation of traffic lights on the busy thoroughfare.

QC gov’t wants to be big-time trash-to-energy producer

By Jaymee T. Gamil (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines–The Quezon City government is hoping to become one of the country’s energy producers by turning its trash into treasure.

In his 5th State of the City Address last week, Mayor Herbert Bautista said the city has started taking steps to transform waste into energy.

“It used to be that the nearly 2,000 tons of waste generated [daily] by our residents was simply a huge problem. Now, technology has created a new paradigm for trash. Our waste will soon be our treasure,” Bautista added.

According to him, Asian and European companies have already introduced technologies capable of fully transforming the city’s waste into a power source.

“Quezon City will be an energy producer, possibly capable of producing 36 megawatts of electricity per day for the 2,000 tons of garbage that we collect,” Bautista said.

He cited the city’s “small-scale” moves toward that goal, namely, the city’s biogas emission reduction plant in Payatas, from which the city has sold about P1.2 million worth of electricity to Meralco, and the refuse-derived fuel plant also in Payatas, from which the city has sold more than 15,000 tons of fuel to La Farge cement factories.

“At this time when the Philippine government is worried that this country may be [plunged] into an energy crisis, Quezon City has awakened to the fact that we are sitting on what could be the equivalent of a gold mine,” Bautista said.

The large-scale waste-to-energy project, however, hinges on the release of emission standard guidelines from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and amendments to the Clean Air Act by Congress.

But Bautista already cited it as a “big-ticket venture” candidate for the city’s private-public partnership agreements to be overseen by a local government corporation, the Quezon City Development Authority, also currently being pushed in Congress.

He unveiled these long-term revenue and job generation plans after noting that a recent Pulse Survey showed that the top concern of residents was employment.

Bautista reported that the city’s Public Employment Services Office assisted 24,718 job seekers, 19,891 of whom were employed, from August 2013 to August this year.

What Quezon City could have looked like

By Michael Bueza (Rappler.com)

Here are some features of the 1941 and 1949 master plans for the city, and what has happened to these plans since

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Quezon City was just about to turn 9 years old when it was declared the new capital of the Philippines on July 17, 1948. President Elpidio Quirino signed Republic Act No. 333, establishing the permanent seat of national government there, moving it from Manila.

Quezon City was chosen from among 16 sites across the country.

Republic Act 333 also created the Capital City Planning Commission, tasked to produce a master plan for the new capital city. The master plan, approved in 1949, shall "guide and accomplish a coordinated, adjusted, harmonious construction and future development" of Quezon City.

Architect Juan Arellano was appointed to head the commission. He has previously teamed up with fellow architect Harry Frost, along with Alpheus Williams and Louis Croft, to produce a master plan for Quezon City (known as the Frost Plan or the Frost-Arellano Plan). It was approved in 1941, two years after the city's birth in 1939.

To mark the 75th founding anniversary of Quezon City on Sunday, October 12, here's a discussion on some features of the 1941 and 1949 master plans for the city, and what has happened to these plans since.

Constitution Hill

The centerpiece of the 1949 master plan is Constitution Hill, in what is now known as Batasan Hills. It was supposed to accommodate the edifices of all branches of government.

Three groups of buildings would consist the national government center at Constitution Hill. In the middle right, fronting the Plaza of the Republic, is the House of Congress, which would host both the Senate and the House of Representatives, plus a Hall of Fame (a memorial for heroes and patriots) and a Library of Congress.

To the right of the House of Congress would be the Palace of the Chief Executive, or the residence of the President of the Republic. To its left would be the Supreme Court, offices of the constitutional commissions, and other moderating constitutional bodies of government.

In the 1941 Frost-Arellano Plan, however, the national government center was located in and around what is now the Quezon Memorial Circle.

The legislature would conduct business in a Capitol building at the Circle, with the Executive Mansion or presidential palace to its left (in what is now the Veterans Memorial Medical Center or VMMC) and the Supreme Court complex to its right (the current site of East Avenue Medical Center).

Meanwhile, the current Batasan Hills in the 1941 plan was reserved for the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Currently, only the Batasan Complex stands in the planned Constitution Hill. Both the presidential Palace (Malacañang) and the Supreme Court complex remain in Manila.

Central Park/Diliman Quadrangle

Both the 1941 and 1949 master plans envisioned Quezon City as a "Garden City," providing for parks, greenbelts, and open spaces throughout.

A Central Park was at the "heart" of the park system in the 1949 master plan. It was situated at the Diliman Quadrangle, approximately 400 hectares, and bounded by the North, West, East, and South Avenues. It was devoted exclusively to park facilities and recreational activities.

The entire northern half of the Quadrangle was reserved for a botanical and zoological garden. The southwestern quarter was intended for a municipal golf course, while the southeastern quarter was where a national stadium and sports center was supposed to be built.

Sadly, the Central Park was never completely realized, as several proclamations and orders reduced the park's size numerous times.

Existing remnants of the Central Park, along with the Quezon Memorial Circle, are the 19-hectare Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center and a "mini-forest" between the Central Bank of the Philippines and the Lung Center along East Avenue.

Quezon Memorial Circle

At the northeast corner of the Diliman Quadrangle is the Quezon Memorial Circle. Standing tall at the oval grounds is the Quezon Memorial Monument, erected in honor of President Manuel L. Quezon, from whom the city took its name. It was constructed from 1952 to 1978.

In the 1941 master plan, however, the oval was supposed to be the location of a proposed Capitol building for the Philippine Legislature.

Meanwhile, in the 1949 master plan, a big building was proposed to be built there to house most (if not all) executive departments. The oval would be part of the Executive Center, which would also include portions of land on both sides of the oval.

The Quezon Memorial, on the other hand, was to be constructed on the left side of the oval, at the site where the VMMC now stands.

At present, the offices of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are located at the left side of the oval, while the Quezon City Hall Complex is at the opposite side.

Quezon City Hall

In the 1949 master plan, the Quezon City Hall was supposed to be at what is now the East Avenue Medical Center (the site of the Supreme Court complex in the 1941 plan). The plan also proposed a civic center – containing a public library, an auditorium, and a theater – near the city hall.

The present-day 14-storey Quezon City Hall building was constructed from 1964 to 1972.

National Exposition Grounds

Spanning 46 hectares, the National Exposition Grounds (on the left of today's VMMC, opposite the northwest corner of the Diliman Quadrangle) were provided for in both plans. It was planned as the venue for the 1946 World's Fair, according to architect and urban planner Paulo Alcazaren. Now, the SM City North EDSA complex can be located on that site.

In the 1949 master plan, a Scientific Government Center, intended for scientific bureaus like the Bureau of Plant Industry and the Bureau of Soils, was placed adjacent to the Exposition Grounds. Plus, the original Veterans' Hospital was supposed to be placed across the Exposition Grounds, on the left side of EDSA.

Business and Industrial Hubs

The 1949 plan also set up 4 major commercial centers:

A 318-hectare business center in the metropolitan area (near Central Park and the Executive Center)
A 80-hectare business center in the north district, near the La Mesa Watershed
A 45-hectare business center south of Quezon City not far from Camp Crame; it is now known as the Cubao business district
A 35-hectare central public market at the city entrance along Republic Avenue

Meanwhile, industrial zones were placed at the outskirts of the city in the northeast.

Republic Avenue

The 1949 plan also provided for a Republic Avenue, the "principal showplace" of the capital city. Stretching westward from Constitution Hill (to connect eventually to what is now Roxas Boulevard), Republic Avenue was supposed to be lined with a strip of parks on both sides. At the west end is a big rotunda, chosen to be the site of a War Heroes Memorial.

At present, however, Republic Avenue is only a road segment from Barangay Sauyo to Barangay Holy Spirit. There are moves to revive the original plan for Republic Avenue, but the intended path for the road is occupied by informal settlers, said the QC Planning and Development Office.

Other thoroughfares in the 1949 Master Plan
• EDSA, or at least the section passing through Quezon City, was to be called Liberation Avenue.
• A Katipunan Parkway was supposed to encircle the entire city.
• The Santa Mesa Boulevard (now Ramon Magsaysay Blvd) was to be extended up to Marikina, and be known as Malaya Avenue.
• Congressional Avenue was supposed to stretch up to Constitution Hill. Now, it ends at Luzon Avenue.
• Luzon Avenue was supposed to be a circumferential road leading to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan.
• Visayas Avenue was also planned as a circumferential road connecting Meycauayan in Bulacan to Malaya Avenue. At present, Visayas Avenue starts at the Elliptical Road and ends at Tandang Sora Avenue.
• Mindanao Avenue was supposed to stretch from Ipo Road (now Quirino Highway) near the La Mesa Watershed to Liberation Avenue or EDSA. Now, two unconnected segments of Mindanao Avenue exist.

Quezon City was the nation's capital for only 28 years. The distinction was regained by Manila on June 24, 1976, when President Ferdinand Marcos signed Presidential Declaration No. 824.

History, culture, food: For gems in plain sight, revisit Quezon City

By Janvic Mateo ( Rappler.com)

In honor of QC's 75th Foundation Day, won't you rediscover Metro Manila's biggest city?

October 12 marks the Diamond Jubilee of Quezon City, and the local government and its citizens are pulling out all the stops to celebrate this occasion in style. But even on a regular day, Quezon City has quite a lot to offer.

Media were recently invited on a Quezon City tour to experience the city like a traveler, in light of its 75th Foundation Day.

So whether you’re stuck in the city for the weekend or just want to explore gems hidden in plain sight, here are a few stops in QC for you to discover or rediscover.

Start at QMC

A great start to your city adventure would be Quezon Memorial Circle.

The park is covered in trees, so the pathways are shady and cool even in the middle of the day. Sports enthusiasts can take advantage of the wide lawns for any number of outdoor games.

Fitness buffs can utilize the outdoor gym and running paths, and the young (or young at heart) can have fun at the numerous playgrounds that dot the park.

You can also find the “Joy of Urban Farming,” a small plot of land dedicated to the planting of organic fruits and vegetables, within the park grounds. Consumers can choose from a wide array of seasonal fruits and veggies to bring home for cheaper than market price (sometimes, even free).

Visit the Shrine and the museums

Its main attraction, however, is the Quezon Memorial Shrine, a towering monument that houses the remains of former President Manuel L. Quezon, after whom the city is named.

The pylon itself is topped with three crying angels done by Italian sculptor Monti, which represent the three main islands of the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

It stands 66 meters tall, representative of Quezon’s age at the time of his death. When you enter the Shrine, you can choose to pay your respects, or take a peek at the Quezon Memorial Shrine Museum to learn more about the life of former President Quezon.

The Museum is open from Tuesday through Sunday, from 8 am to 4 pm and entrance is free, though check first to see if it's open – it's been undergoing renovations.

Another historical attraction within the complex is the Quezon Heritage House, the former residence of Manuel L. Quezon. Quezon used the home as a weekend retreat and eventually as a place of convalescence for his tuberculosis.

The Quezon City government moved the house from its original address at 45 Gilmore Street to the Circle in 2013. They were able to restore as much as 60% of the original house, and visitors can view the original furnishings and other MLQ memorabilia. The house is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 9 am to 4 pm.

Meet Tandang Sora

The storied past of Quezon City reaches out to other parts of the city. Visit the Tandang Sora National Shrine on Banlat Road and learn about the life of the “Mother of the Philippine Revolution,” Melchora Aquino, better known as Tandang Sora.

The Quezon City government had her remains reinterred in the Shrine in commemoration of her 200th birthday in 2012. The Shrine also has an art gallery where you can view paintings and sculptures of Tandang Sora made by Filipino artists and students from all over Quezon City.

The Franciscan-run San Pedro de Bautista Church in the San Francisco del Monte area is also a must-see. It is named after Pedro de Bautista, a Franciscan friar who served as the parish priest in the 16th century and was eventually martyred in Japan.

Catholic devotees will enjoy visiting the Holy Cave, located underneath the old altar of the church. The cave is considered holy ground because over the centuries, many missionaries would go to the cave to pray before being sent on evangelical missions (and often to their deaths as martyrs) in neighboring Asian countries.

Even those who are not religious can take interest in the rich heritage of the San Pedro de Bautista Church. It is one of the oldest in the Philippines, and many Filipino movies have also used the church’s beautiful courtyard as a backdrop for wedding scenes.

Food finds

Reward yourself after a long day of sightseeing at one (or two) of the many restaurants along Maginhawa Street.

The stretch is littered with restaurants offering exciting dishes from every end of the flavor spectrum. A top pick is The Sweet Spot, a café run by a husband and wife team that marry their love of good food and design.

It offers an eclectic mix of Filipino, Southwestern, and Oriental dishes, good for big groups who can’t seem to agree on what to eat for lunch or dinner. For those craving for Filipino fare, try Marciana’s famous pancit palabok and putong pandan, or the pink salmon head ulo-ulo or bulalo of Jek’s Kubo.

Serious foodies should head to the Maginhawa area on Saturday, October 11 for the first ever Quezon City Food Festival. The whole street will be blocked off to traffic to make way for a massive street party that will last the whole day.

As a special treat for the event, participating restaurants will be serving special dishes priced at 150 pesos, so you can really try all of what Maginhawa has to offer, or at least as much as your stomach will let you.

All these activities could easily fill up a whole day, but it’s barely scratched the surface of what the biggest city in Metro Manila has to offer. Where do you like to go relax and have fun in Quezon City? Let us know in the comments below.

‘All gender’ restrooms now a must in QC

By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - Government agencies, private offices, and commercial establishments in Quezon City will now be required to have a designated unisex comfort rooms to address discrimination issues among members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The city government, through the office of Vice Mayor and city council presiding officer Joy Belmonte, has started this week distributing copies of the recently approved “gender fair” ordinance of the city.

“With political will, we would be able to realize the equality that everyone has long hoped for. In Quezon City, everyone stands equal,” Belmonte said in an earlier statement.

Under the new measure, all establishments in the city must have designated lavatories and toilets labeled “All Gender CR,” the acronym for comfort room.

The provision is under the section on affirmative acts on employment, which also mandates that employers grant LGBTs the same wage and benefits accorded to people of other gender.

The measure also mandates the conduct of annual gender sensitivity training and orientations for employees to eliminate all forms of discrimination based on perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

Earlier this year, a transgender call center employee sued two security guards for refusing to allow her to use the women’s restroom. She charged them with violating an earlier city ordinance that prohibits gender discrimination in workplaces in the city. The case is currently pending before the city prosecutor’s office.

Watered-down version?

Despite the passage of what some groups dub as a landmark ordinance, The STAR learned that various key provisions included in the proposal of first district Councilor Lena Marie Juico were removed from the final version.

Among these is the inclusion of an additional gender option in forms distributed by government agencies and health facilities in the city.

Also removed were proposals to review school textbooks to ensure the compliance with a non-sexist curriculum and the conduct of gender orientation activities among teachers.

The provision allowing LGBTs in tertiary education institutions to choose the manner of dress that they want to wear based on their perceived sexual identity was removed in the approved bill.

The council approved the measure on third reading following a marathon eight-hour session presided over by Belmonte on Sept. 29.

WHO marks World Sight Day Thursday

(Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines–The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness celebrate World Sight Day Thursday to draw attention to blindness, visual impairment and rehabilitation of the visually impaired.

St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC-Global City) Eye Institute head Dr. Noel G. Chua said World Sight Day seeks to come up with a global action plan to battle treatable eye ailments, with governments mandated to draw action plans for the 285 million people with low vision and the 39 million blind worldwide.

Dr. Chua said that both SLMC facilities in Global City and Quezon City will offer a three-day promo on discounted packages from Oct. 9 to 11, 2014, in line with the celebration, particularly for the most common treatable eye diseases. These include packages for biometry, glaucoma screening, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and optic neuropathy.

The theme of this year’s World Sight Day celebration is “No More Avoidable Blindness,” which means that eye ailments like glaucoma, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and optic neuropathy would be given added attention so that those afflicted would continue to have quality of life, Dr. Chua said.

For inquiries on treatable eye diseases, call the St. Luke’s Eye Institute at tel. 7897700 ext. 2024 (Global City) and 7230101 or 723 0301 ext. 5422/4143 (Quezon City).

PHLPost to release QC anniversary stamps


MANILA, 8 October (PIA) – In celebration of the 75th founding anniversary of the Quezon City government, the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) will issue commemorative stamps to mark its silver jubilee this year.

According to PHLPost, QC’s anniversary commemorative stamps will be issued on October 12, 2014.

The 120,000 commemorative stamps come in four designs, featuring the Tandang Sora Shrine, E. Jacinto Shrine, SM North EDSA, and UP-Ayala Techno Hub. The stamps are printed on imported unwatermaked at P10.00 each.

Likewise, 700 pieces logo, glow in the dark souvenir sheets will be out and sold at P100 each. The souvenir sheet features the Quezon City Memorial Circle.

In 1938, Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon directed the Peoples’ Homesite Corporation to purchase 15,723 square meters of land in the Diliman Estate. This tract of land later becomes Quezon City.

After 75 years, Quezon City is the fastest-growing city in the country.

Guide to QC app launched Tuesday

By Jaymee T. Gamil (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines–Finding your way around Quezon City has just become easier.

As part of the city’s 75th founding anniversary celebration on Oct. 12, a mobile application which will serve as a field guide to Metro Manila’s largest city will be introduced Tuesday.

The QC4ME app, which will be available for both Android and iOS users, includes a city map, a news portal, an events calendar, historical and cultural information about Quezon City, and even a hotel and restaurant finder, according to statement from the city government.

It will be launched Tuesday at city hall, along with a Diamond Jubilee coffee table book, commemorative coin and stamp.

In the afternoon, Mayor Herbert Bautista will deliver his fifth State of the City Address at the Carlos Albert Session Hall. He is expected to report on the status of various city programs and projects, including upcoming developmental plans and goals.

DENR sets out roadmap to inclusive growth via biodiversity conservation


QUEZON CITY, 6 Oct. (PIA)- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will focus on effectively managing natural resource wealth to achieve broad-based inclusive growth as the agency sets out a roadmap towards sustainable use and conservation of the country's rich biodiversity.

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said the Philippine Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (PBSAP), which was launched recently at the Sulo Hotel in Quezon City, is a strategic plan that highlights key initiatives that the department will aim to complete within the next 15 years, with the help of its partners and stakeholders.

The roadmap sets "clear directions on how we can achieve sustained growth but with clear warning signs if we overstep our so-called development activities," Paje said during the launch, which was attended by environmental advocacy partners from both public and private sectors, as well as by Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on environment.

Paje described the PBSAP as a plan that identifies the need for ecosystem approach; recognizes humans as an integral component of many ecosystems; balances the values of conservation, sustainable use, and the fair equitable sharing of benefits from the use of genetic resources; and considers all forms of relevant information including scientific and indigenous local knowledge, innovations and practices.

According to the environment chief, the PBSAP is consistent with the "Philippine Development Plan chapter on sustainable and climate-resilient environmental and natural resources, which points to inclusive economic growth that is not at the expense of our natural wealth."

He said the roadmap includes four additional themes to address ecosystem concerns. These are agrobiodiversity, urban biodiversity, access and benefit sharing, and invasive alien species (IAS).

Agrobiodiversity is a term used to encompass all biodiversity and ecosystems relevant to food and agriculture, including those necessary to sustain agricultural production. An example of this is the rice culture and traditions in upland communities, which need to be managed sustainably to ensure the country’s food and livelihood security.

Under the plan, the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) will identify at least 10 nationally recognized agricultural heritage systems, of which the Ifugao rice terraces are already part of.

Urban biodiversity refers to the management and restoration public open space areas and corridors, improvement of waterways, and wastewater management. This includes identifying or establishing pockets of green space in urban areas.

The PBSAP also looks at securing benefits for the community that supplies genetic resources and traditional knowledge utilized as biological materials by scientists, researchers and collectors.

The biodiversity roadmap also seeks to address the impact of IAS, which usually result from the movement of species beyond their natural barriers through increased travel, trade and tourism by humans.

Paje said that the country’s environment and natural resources are “a means and an end in achieving inclusive growth.”

“As a means, they provide the needed inputs and ecosystem services to sustain [us]. As an end, they bear both the positive and negative impacts of activities intended to accelerate economic growth,” he explained.

In presenting the details of the PBSAP, BMB Director Theresa Mundita Lim discussed the goals of the plan in addressing drivers of biodiversity conservation, reducing threats, improving the status of biodiversity, enhancing ecosystem services, and improving human well-being.

The plan will be implemented in partnership with other relevant government agencies and organizations, along with the academe, non-governmental organizations, media and the private sector.

QC council approves pro-LGBT ordinance

By Jaymee T. Gamil (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — The rainbow flag has been raised in Quezon city.

In what has been touted as a pioneer legislation in Metro Manila, the Quezon City Council passed on second reading an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (Sogie) in the city.

Dubbed the “Gender-Fair City” Ordinance, the measure protects LGBT rights in the workplace, in schools, in accommodation and in accessing basic services.

The ordinance authored by first district Councilor Lena Marie “Mayen” Juico expands the 2003 Quezon City Ordinance No. 1309, which prohibited discrimination against homosexuals in the workplace.

It also takes off from Mayor Herbert Bautista’s office order in 2013, creating the Quezon City Pride Council (QCPC) to integrate the LGBT community in government programs. The Gender-Fair City ordinance tasks the QCPC as its oversight and implementing committee.

Juico, in her ordinance, noted the lack of a “state mechanism” to stem the “stigma, prejudice and discrimination” continually faced by the LGBT community.

“This stigma is manifested in actions such as bullying, teasing and harassment…[in] schools and [in] communities, in media portrayal of LGBT persons as frivolous, untrustworthy and even dangerous or predatory; [in] denying transgender Filipinos entry into commercial establishments; [in] pigeonholding LGBT Filipinos into particularly limited roles and occupations, or curtailing their rights to participate in the political sphere,” Juico said, in her ordinance.

Juico cited research conducted by the Philippine LGBT Hate Crime Watch that of 141 documented cases of hate crimes from 1996 to 2011, 95 cases involved gay men, 26 involved transgendered people, 16 involved lesbians, and four involved bisexuals.

Juico’s ordinance not only prohibits penalizing people or denying them services because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, but it also bans verbal or non-verbal ridicule in the same discriminatory vein.

The ordinance also legislates affirmative acts for the cause—for instance, adding gender options for sexual orientation or genders in forms, putting up unisex lavatories in workplaces, conducting gender-sensitivity training, disseminating anti-discrimination materials in schools, workplaces and communities, and commemorating LGBT events in the city.

The ordinance also calls for the incorporation of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (Sogie) concerns under the function of the Violence Against Women and Children police desks, as well as the putting up of LGBT desks in hospitals.

The ordinance requires the allotment of funds for a widespread informational campaign on the anti-discrimination policy, for the setting up of a “discrimination databank,” and to provide legal representation and psychological counseling to victims of gender-related harassment.

Though the ordinance is still up for third reading before it gets enacted and submitted for Bautista’s signature, the QCPC believes the measure is “as good as passed,” with the final reading remaining a mere formality.

In an interview, QCPC member, Bishop Emerson Beriones, of the Orthodox Church, explained that getting this far was already a triumph for the ordinance.

“This is not the first in the Philippines, but the most comprehensive, the deepest, in protecting LGBT rights,” Beriones said.

Beriones said that before the ordinance was passed last Monday, it was subjected to council deliberations that took around eight hours, up to the late evening.

Beriones said it was “amazing” that the ordinance was able to hurdle “a big council—six districts, with eight councilors each, with different beliefs and principles.” Beriones said Quezon City has always been a “strong Catholic city,” which usually meant a more conservative stance on gender issues.

Beriones shared his personal advocacy of moving around other Churches “to talk about acceptance and fair treatment for the LGBT community.”

“How do we make them understand doctrines if they’re excluded from the Church? And in my personal opinion, what we straight people have, they should also have. What’s the difference?” the priest explained.

In a press statement, no less than Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, who presides over the city council, noted: “The LGBT community has been a significant partner in ensuring the success of Quezon City. While contributing on various arenas—politics, arts, business, sciences, education, among others—they have long been ignored, their rights unrecognized, and worse they are often discriminated against. This is the city’s way to protect its citizens by saying no to discrimination.”

“With political will, we would be able to realize the equality that everyone has long hoped for. In Quezon City, everyone stands equal,” Belmonte added.

PHLPost issuing glow-in-the-dark stamps for QC anniversary

By Joel Locsin /LBG, (GMA News)

The Philippine Postal Corp. will issue commemorative stamps, including glow-in-the-dark souvenir stamps, this coming week to mark the 75th anniversary of Quezon City.

PHLPost said it will issue 120,000 commemorative stamps in P10 denominations and four designs starting October 12.

It will also issue 7,000 souvenir sheets with P100 denomination.

Designs on the stamps include the Tandang Sora Shrine, E. Jacinto Shrine, SM North EDSA, and UP Ayala TechnoHub.

The souvenir sheet will feature the Quezon City Memorial Circle.

PHLPost noted that in 2012, Quezon City became the first Philippine local government unit to fully connect to the Philippine Business Registry.

In 2013, the QC-LGU offers mobile money technology for payments of real property taxes, for remittances of city scholarship stipends and for teachers’ allowances.

This year, Quezon City marks its 75th founding anniversary as the country’s fastest-growing city, PHLPost said.

QC unites with global community in People’s Climate March


QUEZON CITY, 3 Oct. (PIA)- Quezon City has joined other cities around the world, including various non-government and grassroots organizations, in collaboration with the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) World Secretariat, in the People’s Climate March – dubbed as the largest and most diverse mobilization for climate action in history – on September 21.

The People’s Climate March in Quezon City was highlighted by a tree-planting activity attended by Councilor Alan Reyes, Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department head Frederika Rentoy, QC Parks Development and Administration Department head Zaldy de la Rosa, other city officials and employees, barangay officials and residents.

The activity aims to showcase the city’s commitment to combat and mitigate the effects of climate change as well as to show support of ICLEI’s call for mobilization. The tree-planting activity, which coincides with the Barangay Day, was conducted in Central Avenue and held simultaneously, in various sites in the city’s 142 barangays.

The Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department spearheads the implementation of Quezon City’s environmental programs and climate change initiatives. The department has also taken the lead in crafting the City’s Climate Change Action (CCA) Plan, which provides guidelines for the city’s adaptation to climate change. This project is being undertaken as City’s participation in the ICLEI Local Government for Sustainability’s Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network.

Quezon City gets busy for diamond jubilee

By Erika Sauler (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Quezon City marks its 75th year of cityhood this month as it forges partnership and participation among its six districts to celebrate its diamond jubilee.

Mayor Herbert Bautista kicks off the celebrations with his State of the City Address on Oct. 6. “The 75th year celebration of cityhood gives us the perfect opportunity to show off what Quezon City has to offer,” Bautista said in a statement. “There is so much to celebrate and look forward to in the coming weeks. This is why we are inviting everyone to become part of our city’s many celebrations as we show our support and pride as residents.”

There is an ongoing Scout Jamborette until Oct. 5 at Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC) while there will be a Senior Citizens Walk on Oct. 4. From Oct. 3 to 12, there will be novena Masses in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary at city hall.

Also on Oct. 6, the QC App will be launched along with the QC Diamond Jubilee coffee table book, commemorative coin, commemorative stamps and the QC Mural of History. The day will also mark the start of the Super QC Sale in all eight SM malls in the city, which ends on Oct. 12.

A “Grand Diamond Salubong” is set on Oct. 11, featuring marchers and dancers from each of the city’s six districts. There will be friendly competitions, concerts, street parties and fireworks displays at various locations: QMC; Roosevelt-Del Monte (District 1); Sandiganbayan (2); Araneta and Anonas (3); Maginhawa and Tomas Morato Streets (4); Quirino Highway (5); and Mindanao Avenue (6).

To be held simultaneously with the Grand Diamond Salubong on Oct. 11 are a citywide medical mission, job fairs, fun run, senior citizens’ program, sports exhibition, skateboard competition, volleyball tournament, rock concert and “Martsa ng Musiko” as well as a food festival on Maginhawa Street.

Health and wellness advocacies as well as project launches will complete the string of activities on Oct. 12. To be launched are the Quezon City Airship (a 60-foot-long, helium-powered balloon that will rise to the city skies at about 400 feet) and the Zumba Fitness Outdoor Party (a high-energy celebration of fitness and community camaraderie with a goal to make a new Guinness world record for the largest Zumba party) at the QMC at 4 p.m.

There will be a “Misa ng Bayan” and a parade of floats starting from the QMC to the respective districts. Other events at the QMC include a “Palarong Pinoy” and Concert at the Park. There will also be an October Beer Festival at Eton Centris.

The day will be capped with the Gawad Parangal Grand Night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum when the city will honor its outstanding citizens and companies.

Other events are the “Diskwento Caravan” on Oct. 15; health and wellness fair, Oct. 16 to 17; mass blood donation, Oct. 17; antipneumonia immunization for senior citizens, Oct. 18; “Novaliches Got Talent,” Oct. 24; “Indakan ng mga Estudyante sa QC at Amoranto Sports Complex,” Oct. 19; and Diamond Jubilee Cup: QC 75 Inter-Barangay Street Soccer Tournament, Oct. 15 to 31.

Before the yearend, there will be an international film festival at Trinoma, underpass photo exhibit, HIV awareness campaign, international marathon, Pride March and the formal unveiling of the Quezon City Museum.

Cash gifts set for QC seniors who’ll turn 75 in October

By –Erika Sauler (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines–Senior citizens residing in Quezon City who will turn 75 years old this October will receive cash gifts from the local government in line with the city’s 75th anniversary celebration.

Mayor Herbert Bautista approved an ordinance on Monday giving a treat to the elderly birthday celebrators, who were grouped under two categories.

The first group, the “recipient diamond celebrants” or those whose 75th birthday coincides with the city’s founding anniversary on Oct. 12, will receive P7,500 each.

“Recipient celebrants” or those whose birthday falls on other dates in October, will get P5,000 each.

The seniors are being given these gifts for being “our pillar of strength, source of wisdom and inspiration, and for being our guardian of morality,” according to the ordinance authored by Councilor Raquel Malañgen.

A tentative list prepared by the local Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca) showed that are 21 diamond celebrants and 214 recipient celebrants.

“I will use it to give my amigas a treat,” said Erlinda Saligumba, a diamond celebrant from District 3, who was at the Osca office on Tuesday to coordinate an alay-lakad (walk for a cause) project on Oct. 4.

The cash gifts will be drawn from the city’s budget for the diamond jubilee celebration. Recipients must be registered at Osca for verification and will be formally recognized in a program to be scheduled by the city government.