Dec 14, 2016

Parañaque City is not motorists-friendly, nor business-friendly?

Inquiries are mounting as to whether Aguirre Avenue and El Grande Street in BF Homes Parañaque have already been turned over by the subdivision's developers to the Parañaque City government, especially now that realty taxes are no longer being paid for them.

In an on camera interview on the TV show Motoring Today with a Parañaque City official earlier this year, it has been confirmed that they have been indeed long turned over.

Many even venture to say that most, if not all the streets of BF Homes Parañaque to include Elizalde Street would have been turned over to the city government in default as soon as the developers have stopped paying for the realty taxes. Otherwise, considering how long ago development had been done and with most of the lots of this once biggest subdivision in this part of the world have been sold, arrears of the developer for none payment of realty taxes for these streets would now amount to billions of pesos.

Further more, consulted legal minds regarding the issue have maintained that, "It's a no brainer to conclude that all roads that have been turned over to the government belong to the state and rightly so to be considered as public roads."

Now having said that, many residents and even business entrepreneurs who consider Parañaque City as potentially an ideal place to conduct business are saying, or I guess "complaining" would be the appropriate word to use, that the City Government is allowing some quarters to make life harder for them. I have been requested to voice out their minds with a further pleading for them not to named for obvious reasons, like security of their business or worse, their persons.

Many residents are still in a deep quandary why security guards assigned to the gate of Elizalde street (presumably also a public road as realty taxes are no longer paid for it) have been given instructions not to allow bona fide residents even those with documents like driver's license, ID cards with home addresses, etc. to prove their residency from exiting due to security concerns. They require car stickers, which need to be bought from their headquarters inside BF Homes.

Residents cannot fathom the issue of security when exiting. Making it difficult for anyone to just enter may perhaps be more logical. But exiting? For someone who's legally identifying him or herself as a resident wanting to exit to be considered a security risk is bordering on stupidity. No, it's not bordering-it's stupid. Anybody who's not a resident but was able to buy a car sticker is definitely more of a security risk.

But then perhaps it may not be stupid after all if you would consider what some residents have figured out as a "smart" reason for what appears to be a stupid move, that is if this were true, which I wouldn't want to think to be true but perhaps I have to mention here for a balance presentation.

Many residents are saying that with the current state of traffic in Phase 1 of BF Homes due to the presence of two large supermarkets, a big church, the subdivision's clubhouse, etc., all for residents' use and benefits, the only alternative route to take going out is through Elizalde Street. Therefore, according to many residents, Elizalde is a "cash cow" in selling stickers by allowing only vehicles with car stickers, residents or not, thru its gate. "Smart" indeed but a big disservice to bona fide residents of BF Homes. If this will be figured out by some lawyer, who's "smarter" than these guys are, they'll be in a situation they may not have thought they would ever be.

Now, Aguirre Avenue and El Grande are two of BF Homes' main thoroughfares. And they are now teeming with business establishments, mostly primarily aimed at providing products and services to BF Homes residents but are now of service to other communities in the peripheral areas. Many of these establishments are restaurants, some with specialized culinary offerings that are being sought by foodies from Alabang and some from as far as Makati. There are also quite a number of sports bars where many young residents of BF Homes patronize with many of their parents reportedly highly approving rather than having them to go other areas like Alabang, Makati or BGC. Whatever happens in BF Homes that would need the parents' immediate presence would not be as challenging as compared to being in other far away areas is the rationale of these approving parents.

If business development is ever a priority of the Parañaque City government, then the entrepreneurs of BF Homes are begging its officials to honor the Memorandum of Agreement that has previously allowed free access to these thoroughfares. According to them, improved business in BF Homes would redound to its lot owners, as realty prices would not be stopped from going up as more businesses are established.

Horrendous traffic gridlocks visibly happen at the gates due to this car sticker business to the disadvantage of tired work-torn residents who want to be home early to rest.

Admittedly, security of residents are ably provided by security guards of individual enclaves, which should really be the one that should implement the "no sticker, no entry" rule, which they already are-and very strictly indeed.

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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)