Adhering to this prestigious newspaper's ideals of balance reporting as well as fair and truthful journalism, which can best and most timely be amplified as we start the year, I'm giving way to some reactions to this column's article that came out two weeks ago centering on issues brought to our attention by residents of BF Homes Parańaque including from those who have business interests in this reputedly one of the biggest subdivisions this part of the world.
For a brief background for those who may have missed the said article, it echoed the plight of entrepreneurs that have business enterprises within BF Homes that provide the needs of the hundreds of thousands of its homeowners and adjoining communities. It also spotlighted the difficulty of homeowners themselves that are burdened with the continued closure of main thoroughfares like Aguirre and El Grande Avenues and Elizalde Street, which is a main alternative exit to traffic prone Aguirre gate.
The reaction came from the Board of Directors of BFFHAI ( BF Homes Federation of Homeowners Association, Inc. ). Due to space restrictions I'm limited to print verbatim ( as is/no editing) parts of the letter that are relevant to the issues.
"Aguirre and El Grande avenues have not been turned-to the city government. In fact, BF Homes Inc. claims that all the roads still belong to them; which cause some delay in the implementation of community projects like the sewage program of Maynilad and the digital traffic lights of MMDA."
"Elizalde Gate is exclusively for residents with valid green stickers. Non-residents even if with sticker are not allowed."
"Elizalde Gate is not a "Cash Cow". Only residents are allowed, and their sticker cost only P150; P50 of which goes back to the enclave. Non-residents, who pays much more, are not allowed to use Elizalde. To be a Cash Cow, we should allow anybody who can pay more, but this is not the case,"
"Elizalde Gate is not only for Security, but more importantly it is for the convenience of residents to go in and out with less hustle. Our Elizalde Gate is the equivalent to the exclusive RFID lanes at the expressway, motorists get RFID to enjoy special privileges. If a motorist use the RFID lane without an RFID tag, the cars behind are delayed and inconvenienced."
"More than 27,000 BF residents bought resident sticker. If a few does not want to buy a P150 sticker, and insist to use Elizalde by showing an ID, it will be unfair to the abiding residents. Imagine how many minutes will be lost pulling out your wallet, looking for an ID, showing it to the guard, and the guard examining if the ID is valid.? Meanwhile all the impatient drivers at the back are honking their horn. Elizalde Gate is not a greedy disservice.
Horrendous traffic at the gate is caused by vehicles without sticker. On the contrary, sticker facilitate entry. BF Homes is the hub of three cities....Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Muntinlupa, covering an area of 765 hectars. IT is the most convenient short cut from one area to another. If we have no guards at the main gates, all the cars from Cavite, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, and neighboring subdivisions will be using our roads. The horrendous traffic we experience now will be doubled, tripled. Think about "Bitter Living".
"BFFHAI is not a self-proclaimed umbrella organization. It was organized originally by 32 enclaves. Now it has 63 member-enclaves. BFFHAi is duly registered with HLURB and BIR."
"Resident sticker still cost P150. Of this amount, P50 is returned to the enclave as assistance. P500 is for company vehicles, which are only a few."
The letter was signed by Mr. William Yu, Village Administrator and Assistant to the president of BFFHAI.
I'm also giving way to a letter sent in by Mr.John Fernandez, a BF Homes resident that's reacting to the article.
"Sir, I've liked most of your articles but it's only your articles on making BF accessible to the public that hits a nerve with me. The issue of stickers have long been argued about by some many people. For me, it's just P150 and I would think most of the bona fide residents could afford. I mean for P150 you'd go out your way to argue with the guards and create traffic. Sir, I think majority of the residents do have stickers. So why choose to inconvenience the majority who have stickers. At the very least, BF has some semblance of "security" which are paid by the proceeds from the sale of stickers. I'm not really sure how the whole association works but for at least there seems to be someone who wants to do it. You also mentioned that different enclaves in BF have their on security. Yes, that is true. It is also true that they have their own stickers as their enclaves have been "cordoned off" granting access to only those who have stickers. Sir, what about those living in Elizalde? There is no way for them to close their street because it's a main road. How about their security, peace and privacy? I don't know how BF was marketed before to attract buyers but I assume peaceful place is part of it. Although we cannot stop progress from happening but at the very least control it. Sir, there are still a lot of residents who are not all happy about the commercialization of BF. It has gotten out of hand. BF is not only for the business owners of Aguirre and El Grande. First and foremost it is still a residential community."
Already, there are reactions to these reactions, which we hope to ventilate in some of our future columns. Watch for them.
The TV show, Motoring Today has always been regarded by its loyal viewers as their "weekend viewing habit". Those who have been with us since we started some 30 years ago (our first broadcast was in June 7, 1987) would remember that our original schedule was 3 o'clock, Sunday afternoon right before the coverage of the PBA games. Through the years we have changed our airing TV channel from PTV 4 to Solar Sports, where we are now. But our airing time, the last of which was 4pm, was always either on a Saturday or Sunday, a weekend.
Well in 2017, starting last January 1,Motoring Today airs still on a weekend, everySunday but this time at 10 o'clock in the evening.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ray Butch Gamboa graduated from the College of Arts and Letters of the University of Sto. Tomas. It was a course that should have been preparatory to a law degree, but the call of broadcasting aborted his plans.
At the age of 16, while still a student, Butch tried his hand at disc jockeying, landing a job at Mareco Broadcasting Network’s AM stations DZBM and DZLM. From there, Butch moved on with his illustrious career as a popular disc jockey, riding the airwaves of Bob Stewart’s middle-of-the-road music at DZXX, and ending his disc jockeying career at ABS-CBN’s DZYL and DZQL.
From there, he stayed on with ABS-CBN, covering live the proceedings at the Manila Stock Exchange and eventually entered into the world of television sales as an account manager for the premier channel of ABS-CBN Channel 2.
In the early 70’s, at the outbreak of Martial Law, Butch was one of the thousands of professionals who woke up jobless when then President Marcos declared the new status of the nation. With the closure of ABS-CBN, Butch ventured into different fields outside of broadcast. He tried his hand and with ease and success at export (Costume jewelry), real estate (brokerage), and restaurants (fast food).
In 1987, after the revolution, with the broadcast industry back to its free state, and with its irresistible call ringing in his ears, Butch made his inevitable comeback and pioneered in a local motoring show, producing Motoring Today on Channel 4 and co-hosting with local motor sports’ living legend Pocholo Ramirez.
After 4 years, he ventured into another pioneering format by producing and hosting Business & Leisure, which was originally aired on ABS-CBN’s Channel 2. The format eventually espoused similar ones in other different channels. But the clones in due course faded away leaving the original staying on airing on Channel 4 and eventually on Shop TV on Sky Cable’s Channel 13.
The following year, the pioneering spirit in Butch spurred him to produce another TV show, Race Weekend, also on Channel 4, covering circuit racing at the Subic International Raceway after the motor sport’s hiatus of 17 years. But when similar shows with duplicated formats sprouted, he decided to give way and ended the program after a year, although still enjoying unparalleled viewership.
In 1998, when the local automotive industry was in a slump, Butch contributed his share to help the ailing industry by producing another popular motoring-related show, this time exclusive to the automobile and its industry—Auto Focus, which became a vehicle for local automotive assemblers and importers to showcase their products and dwell on the industry’s latest technological developments.
In 2003, Butch teamed up with his brother, Rey Gamboa who was a former Shell executive and presently one Philippine Star’s business columnist to co-produce and co-host the TV show Breaking Barriers on Channel 13. It is a talk show that features guests who are in the news and in the middle of controversies. The program ventures to draw deeper insights into current issues to learn how they impact to our daily lives.
Today, Motoring Today on its 28th year of service to the general motoring public still enjoys its unprecedented loyal vierwership nationwide while Auto Focus, after 16 years has firmly established its niche viewership among automobile enthusiasts and on the other hand Business & Leisure is on its 24th year dishing out current business issues and lifestyle features.
Today, aside from writing weekly columns for the Philippine Star (Motoring Today on Wednesdays and Business & Leisure on Saturdays) and executive producer / host of weekly TV shows (Motoring Today, airs Sundays on Solar Sports Channel 70, Business & Leisure, airs Tuesdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13 and Auto Focus airs Thursdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13, Ray Butch Gamboa is currently the Chairman and CEO of Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Corp., President of Gamcor Management and Development Corp., Chairman of Asia-Pacific Realty Corporation, President and Chairman of Socio-Communication Foundation for Asia and Founding Chairman of the Society of Phil. Motoring Journalists (SPMJ)