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Online Petition To STOP the WATER RATE HIKE

June 14, 2013 Leave a comment

water hike

Photo credit: http://www.philstar.com

>>> Sign the petition here to MWSS to stop the water rate hikes <<<

An investigative report by Ted Failon on his show Failon Ngayon shed some light on the anomalies within the MWSS.  Overcharging, improvement projects that are none-existent, benefits to the Board Members of MWSS that is questionable, and the impending water rate hike.

I ask you to watch these videos to have an understanding of how deep the problem is and urge you to sign the petition below to stop MWSS from allowing Maynilad and Manila Water to increase their rates when in fact they haven’t fully explained what happened to the extra charges they already collected from us, their consumers.

I also hope the President of the Philippines, His Excellency Benigno Aquino Jr act on this.  It would a shame if he opens his State Of The Nation speech about how his “Daang Matuwid” is letting these anomalies continue.


Part 1 of 5


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Part 5 of 5

>>> Sign the petition here to MWSS to stop the water rate hikes <<<

In article by GMA News

With less than a month to adjustment water rates, state-owned Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said it is still studying the proposed rate increase by Metro Manila’s water concessionaires.
However, a consumer group labeled the public consultation as a hoax and claimed the rate increases were “almost approved.”
In a report by Julius Segovia on GMA News TV’s “Balitanghali,” MWSS held its first public consultation on the rate hike at the Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City.
The rate adjustments are supposed to take effect in July, but it is still under the regulator’s scrutiny, said Atty. Emmanuel Caparas, MWSS Regulatory Office acting chief.
“Sinisiyasat ng mabuti ang kanilang mga dokumento, kanilang mga report, kanilang mga expenses, ang kanilang mga assets na ginagamit,” he said.
“We always retain a very critical stance. We always have a very sympathetic ear when it comes to the complaints of the consumers,” Caparas added.
West zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. proposed a rate hike of P8.58 per cubic meter (cu. m.).
Those consuming 30 cu. m. will incur an additional cost of P250 in their monthly water bills.
The west zone includes parts of Manila and Quezon City, west of South Super Highway in Makati, Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas, and Malabon as well as the municipalities of Bacoor, Imus, Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario in Cavite.
East zone concessionaire Manila Water, on the other hand, asked for a rate hike of P5.83 per cu. m., which means customers consuming 30 cu. m. will bear an additional cost of P125 to P135 in their monthly bills.
The east zone covers parts of Quezon City and Makati, the southeastern parts of Manila, Taguig, Pateros, Marikina, Pasig, San Juan, Mandaluyong, and Rizal province.
Under a concession agreement, a rate rebasing scheme is processed every five years and serves as the basis for MWSS to review a concessionaires’ past performance and future plans.
However, consumer group Water for All Refund Movement (WARM) claimed the water rate hike petition was as good as having been approved by MWSS.
The group wants President Benigno Aquino III to scrutinize the water sector during his state of the nation address in July.
“Kunwari may public consultations pero gawa na po ang script,” alleged RJ Javellana, president of WARM.
“Nananawagan kami kay Pangulong Aquino na sa kanyang state of the nation address ay bulatlatin at tignan ng maigi ang sitwasyon sa sektor ng tubig,” he added.
President Aquino will deliver his fourth State of the Nation Address (Sona) during the joint opening session of the 16th Congress on July 22, the same month MWSS targets to approve the water rate adjustments. — Danessa Rivera/VS, GMA News

Expose of Issues and Controversies involving the MWSS (Manila Water and Sewerage System) and the two large private water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water.

Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

>>> Sign the petition here to MWSS to stop the water rate hikes <<<

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Manila: ‘Gates of Hell’ according to Dan Brown

May 23, 2013 7 comments

Manila

Photo courtesy of http://itsmorefuninthephilippines.com

It’s more fun in the Philippines!” our Department of Tourism’s slogan.  Definitely a very successful campaign that even went viral with the help of millions of Filipinos worldwide.

For Dr. Sienna Brooks, the heroine in bestselling-author Dan Brown’s “Inferno,” part of a series of books on the adventures of art historian and Harvard symbology professor Robert Langdon, the country certainly offered more — but it definitely not fun.

To those who don’t have the book yet and wish to read it for themselves please stop here.

Here’s how the book depicts Manila.

Dr. Sienna Brooks, a fictional character in the novel, visited the Philippines for a humanitarian mission. Initially, she thought that the country is a “wonderland of geological beauty, with vibrant seabeds and dazzling plains.”

Upon her arrival, Brooks did “gape in horror” because “she had never seen poverty on this scale.” There were “six-hour traffic jams, suffocating pollution, horrifying sex trade.”

Involved in prostitution in Manila, the book states, were young children, “many of whom had been sold to pimps by parents who took solace in knowing that at least their children would be fed.”

“All around her, she could see humanity overrun by its primal instinct for survival…when they face desperation…human beings become animals,” it read.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino sent an open letter to Dan Brown (who according to sources has never been to the Philippines) and his publisher and the letter focused on the following:

“We write to you with much concern regarding your recently published novel “Inferno” and its mention of Manila being defined by a number of terrible descriptions of poverty, and pollution, among others, having suffocating pollution, and a horrifying sex trade and worse, being alluded as ‘gates of hell.'”

“While we are aware that yours is a work of fiction, we are greatly disappointed by your inaccurate portrayal of our beloved metropolis. We are displeased of how you have used Manila as a venue and source of a character’s breakdown and trauma, much more her disillusionment in humanity.”

“Our faith in God binds us as a nation and we believe that Manila citizens are more than capable of exemplifying good character and compassion towards each other, something that your novel has failed to acknowledge. Truly, our place is an entry to heaven,” Tolentino said.

“We hope that this letter enlightens you and may guide you the next time you cite Manila in any of your works.”

Tolentino defended Metro Manila is being a “center of Filipino spirit, faith and hope.”

Here are my thoughts on the matter:

I think government officials and netizens are simply “overreacting.”  The book is fiction so everything that the author says about Manila should just be taken as fictional and imaginary.

Government officials should focus on their job instead of riding this issue for publicity.  It does hurt when you hear the (near) truth coming from an outsider.  Why not just consider this as a wake up call?  Manilenos elected ERAP as their mayor and they expect changes to address their socio-economic problems in Manila so why not ask the local government of Manila to start working and do their job.

Dan Brown only used Manila and not the entire Philippines.  Yes, it is the country’s capital but remember that it does not depict the image of the country.  The Department of Tourism should just focus on promoting and developing more tourist attractions.

Lastly, if you don’t like what’s in the book then do not buy it.  Instead of criticizing the author (which is getting a lot of press because of this) and helping fuel the curiosity (that can translate to more sales), just keep in mind that it’s only but fiction.

What do you guys think?  Leave your comments below.

LTO Car Registration Tips

May 14, 2013 33 comments

LTO Valenzuela

Normally when you buy a brand new car it comes with a 3 year LTO registration and like everyone else I had to register the car at LTO after it expires. Before you head on to the nearest LTO in your area make sure that the car is under your name. Although from what I heard you can register the car even if it’s still in the process of Ownership Transfer.

Let’s start with the transfer of ownership. When I got my car from Toyota Otis last 2010, it was on a lease agreement with Toyota Financial Services. This was the easiest and fastest way to get a car that time. When I paid off everything I had to go to their office in Makati to get the documents (OR, CR, Document indicating ownership from the lender) and when I got back I had to start the process of Ownership Transfer. I though it would be that simple. What could be so hard right? When I met up with my original car sales agent I was advised to go and get a Police Vehicle Clearance at a satellite Police Station near Sto. Domingo Church near Quezon Avenue. Tip number 1: Do not waste your time by going to this Police Station. THE PLACE IS FILTHY! THE PEOPLE THERE ARE SO SLOW! YOU WOULDN’T FEEL SAFE AND IT’S SO HARD TO LOCATE! (Specially if you’re not from the area) One more thing that really stressed me out is after waiting for 1 hour I was told that they ran out of theOrder of Payment Slip which you would need to make a payment at Landbank to start the process. So I just wasted gas and my time going there and waiting for nothing. I suggest going directly to Camp Karingal and get your car’s clearance there.

Camp Karingal opens as early as 7AM. Here are the steps…

1. Bring your documents original and photocopies inside and have them check it.
2. Get an Order of Payment
3. Head over to Landbank at the QC City Hall (kinda stupid since you have to go out of the camp to make the payment). Paid around PHP 300 – 350 not sure with the exact amount it’s been a while.
4. Head back to Camp Karingal and handover the payment slip
5. You will be directed to bring the car to the stencil area and have one of the guys there do their job (usual tip is PHP 20 to 50)
6. A policeman will then come to your car and someone will take a photo of you, him, and the car showing the license plate.
7. Wait for your Police Car Clearance

I then gave the clearance to the car sales agent and to transfer the ownership to your name you have to go to the original LTO branch where it was originally registered. For this I just paid 2500 for a liaison to process it for me. Just don’t wanna deal with the hassle.

After almost two weeks (would have been shorter if it wasn’t for the election 2013) I got a confirmation from my agent that the Ownership Transfer is complete and the OR and CR are ready for pickup. Went to pickup the documents and went to LTO Valenzuela to process the registration. Do check this table for your yearly schedule so you don’t get penalized for late registration.

Got to LTO Valenzuela around 3PM. Went straight to the Information Desk and asked for directions. The guy was helpful and asked for the OR and CR and told me to follow a guy to get an emission test. So here’s what happened:

1. Emission test took 5 minutes paid PHP 400
2. Took the car and park at LTO and was directed to get a TPL worth PHP 800. Took around 10 minutes. I know for a fact you can get TPL (Third Party Liability) cheaper. I got a receipt and it says

Plaridel Surety and Insurance Company
Premium PHP 560
Documentary Stamps PHP 56
Fire Service Tax / Premium Tax / E-VAT PHP 70
Local Govt Tax PHP 114
Total PHP 800

3. Someone from LTO had to stencil the engine and the inside of the car again and I gave him PHP 50 as tip. Took around 10 minutes.
4. Got the document back and had it check and signed by a LTO assessor
5. Paid the fee worth PHP 1929.06 Took around 15 minutes.

Change venue fee PHP 100
Cost Sticker PHP 50
Legal Research Fund PHP 10
MVUC PHP 1600
Comp Fee PHP 169.06
Total PHP 1929.06

6. Waited for the sticker. This took me almost 2 hours!!! I don’t know what’s with the stickers and it took forever.

The OR was also returned to me with the stickers. I suggest you guys have it photocopied and put it in your car and keep the original at home.

Over-all the process was very tiring and there’s so many ways to improve the process to eliminate the possibility of corruption but I guess it would take a really good leader within the LTO to make major improvements. Hope this guide help those who will be going through the same thing I had to go through. (Can’t believe I have to do this every year! Grrrr!) If I missed anything feel free to leave a comment.

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