Welcoming 2017 the right way

Adhering to this prestigious newspaper’s ideals of balanced 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 causes 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 pay 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 uses the RFID lane without an RFID tag, the cars behind are delayed and inconvenienced.”

“More than 27,000 BF residents bought resident stickers. If a few do 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 stickers. On the contrary, sticker facilitates 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.

A change due to clamor

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, every Sunday but this time at 10 o’clock in the evening.

Happy Motoring!!!

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