MUNTINLUPA, as an independent municipality, turned 103 years last Saturday and Muntinlupa officials marked the event with a very subdued celebration. During a flag ceremony last Saturday, Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi, saying "we are living in unprecedented times," reported on the various initiatives taken by the city government to meet the Covid emergency.
Fresnedi thanked the City Council led by Vice Mayor Artemio A. Simundac for immediately passing the enabling legislations to help the city face the health threat, including realigning the city's P1.2 billion budget, passing ordinances relative to the observance of health protocols, and extending tax payment deadlines.
The city mayor also reported the completion/execution of the following projects: purchase of testing kits, establishment of swabbing centers, quarantine facilities, a molecular laboratory at Ospital ng Muntinlupa, and additional isolation facility in Filinvest Alabang.
During the period, the city distributed 626,750 relief packages to the most affected families and other forms of "ayuda" and "stimulus packages" to displaced tricycle and jeepney drivers, daily wage earners, parlor and massage employees, senior citizens, PWDs. In cooperation, with DOLE and the office of Congressman Ruffy Biazon, the city also provided 6,561 emergency employment.
The City Government continued to lend from P2,000 to P100,000, at no interest, to qualified self-employed micro-entrepreneurs.
Subject to the observance of proper work protocol, the construction of the following education buildings continued: Senior High School Building in Lakeview Integrated School, Senior High School building in Poblacion National High School, 2 senior high school buildings in Barangay Sucat, a 6-story building in Colegio de Muntinlupa, a life skills center at the Schools Division Office, a covered court each in Alabang Elementary School, Tunasan National High School and Muntinlupa Elementary School.
Health-related and other constructions are in various stages of completion as follows: Lakeview Health Center, expansion of Ospital ng Muntinlupa, employee housing in Lakeview, renovation of the Muntinlupa City Public Market in Alabang, central records storage building in Pacwood, Tunasan and the Track and Field and Aquatic Center at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.
Despite its own problems, Muntinlupa City extended relief assistance to Catanduanes, Albay, Camarines Sur, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Cagayan, Marikina City, Baggao and Solana in Cagayan during the recent typhoons.
Not bad for this centenarian plus 3 which was recently adjudged as one of 5 most dynamic cities in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Fresnedi thanked the following for their invaluable assistance to Muntinlupa:
Vice President Leni Robredo -- for her Community Mart Program which has benefitted tricycle drivers and for her donation of 5,256 Covid-19 PCR test kits; Transportation Secretary Art Tugade -- designated by President Duterte as "Big Brother" for Muntinlupa -- for a donation of one ambulance; and DPWH Secretary Mark Villar -- for the construction of a "We Heal As One" Center in Pacwood, Tunasan and an isolation facility in Filinvest Alabang.
Former Deputy Press Secretary and retired President/CEO of RPN 9 Robert Torres Rivera is urgently appealing to President Duterte to impose a total ban on firecrackers nationwide from Dec 24 to January 1. Some years back, Rivera was able to convince MMDA, through MMDA General Manager Robert Nacianceno, to issue a ban within Metro Manila.
Rivera is hoping to relaunch IwasPaputok, (this time nationwide) and has generated support from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce, Filipino Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Inc, Philippine Association of Real Estate Board (Pareb), the One San Mateo Business Club, and businessman Dave Cruz Jr., among others.
"In this time of the pandemic, we believe that our people need not add any more to the already over-crowded hospitals, overworked and burdened doctors, nurses, and medical staff to still set aside emergency rooms for the victims of fireworks," Rivera said. Furthermore, "(The) the toxic fumes lingering on the air the days after the Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations are likewise very dangerous to the health not only of our senior citizens but also to children."
I join Secretary Rivera in this appeal to the President.
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