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Muntinlupa City @ 23

by Atty. Ignacio R. Bunye

At 23, Muntinlupa City is one of the youngest cities in the Philippines. But it has already become one of the frontrunners in its class in terms of competitiveness and quality of life for its residents.

Last year, Muntinlupa City was adjudged “Most Business-Friendly City in the Philippines” by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), among the “Top 3 Most Competitive Highly Urbanized Cities in Government Efficiency” by the National Competitive Council, and “Most Child-Friendly City in the National Capital Region” by the Regional Council for the Welfare of Children.

Significant awards received from other organizations include the following: “Most Innovative LGU,” “Best in Program Effectiveness,” “Most Improved Nutrition Program Management,” +Jose Rizal Award for Bloodletting Program,” and “Best in Health Emergency Management in Metro Manila.”

Formerly a sleepy farming and fishing community up to the 80s, Muntinlupa began its gradual but steady rise to urbanization later in the decade. On March 1, 1995, President Fidel V. Ramos signed into law Muntinlupa’s city charter, which converted Muntinlupa from a municipality to a highly urbanized city.

Muntinlupa City has been under the helm of soft-spoken lawyer Jaime R. Frenesdi from 1998-2007 and again from 2013 to the present. A businessman-civic leader before he joined politics, (he still is an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Muntinlupa, Rizal) Fresnedi traces his roots to Marcelo Fresnedi. Marcelo was one of the moving spirits behind the move in the 1900s to declare Muntinlupa a separate Municipality from Taguig. This came to fruition on Dec. 19, 1917.

Last Thursday, Muntinlupa Cityhood Day, Fresnedi thanked the various stakeholders who all helped make the transformation of Muntinlupa possible.

Gary Llamas, head of Muntinlupa’s Local Economic Investment and Promotion Office, assisted Fresnedi in recognizing the following taxpayers:

Ford Group Philippines Inc. (consistent No. 1 for the last three years), Manila Electric Co., Toyota Alabang Inc., Filinvest Alabang Inc., Alabang Commercial Corp., Filinvest Land Inc. (Festival Mall), Cyberzone Properties Inc., Fluor Daniel Inc. Philippines, Genpact Services LLC Philippines Inc., and Manuela Corp.

Fresnedi noted that business tax collection consistently grew by 20 per cent per year since 2013 and that R2 billion for 2018 is very doable.

Also recognized were various national government offices, private corporations, civic clubs, and non-government organizations whom Fresnedi described as “key partners in development.”

In his annual State-of-the-City Address (SOCA), traditionally delivered on Cityhood Day, Fresnedi reported on the status, accomplishments, and future plans of his various flagship projects in education, health, livelihood and employment, peace and order, housing, good governance, and environmental protection.

(More details are available on the City’s Website: https://www.facebook.com/officialMuntinlupacity/ which is maintained by the City PIO under Tez Navarro)

Fondly nicknamed the “Education Mayor,” Fresnedi announced the grant of financial assistance to all public school students, from Grade One up, starting the coming schoolyear. He also announced the opening of Colegio de Muntinlupa this school year which will offer Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Engineering.

Other highlights:
– Work is ongoing for an additional building for the Ospital ng Muntinlupa via a P70-million grant from the national government thru Congressman Rufino Rozanno Biazon.

– A Women’s Resource Center will start to operate which will serve as a center for livelihood skills training, product development, and business development for micro enterprises. Loan size for viable small businesses under the JRF program has also been increased up to a maximum of P150,000 per borrower.

– A citywide CCTV system to deter wrongdoers is expected to be fully on stream this year.

– Each barangay will receive a donation of one ambulance and one fire truck from the city government.

– Aside from ongoing socialized housing projects, the city government will soon commence the Centennial Employee Housing Project.

– Further fine-tuning of the Single-Window Transaction-MBOSS will be pursued towards making Muntinlupa the “City of One-Stop-Shops.”

Before the Duterte administration even coined “Build, Build, Build,” the city government of Muntinlupa has been at it.

Fresnedi reported on an impressive list of infrastructure projects completed in 2017 and those for completion in 2018.

Completed in 2017
• Plaza Central, Poblacion
• Fire station at Susana Heights, Tunasan
• Multi-purpose covered courts at Sto. Nino Village in Victoria Homes, Tunasan
• Day care center at Bayanan Baywalk
• Additional classrooms for Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa
• Multi-purpose building in Cupang
For completion in 2018
• Colegio de Muntinlupa in Sucat (Phase 2)
• Muntinlupa City Museum in Laguerta, Tunasan
• Phase 2 of CCTV installation project for the whole city
• DRRM command center at the Resiliency Building, Tunasan
• New building for Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa (PLMun)
• MCTI-TESDA Women’s Resource Center in Putatan
• Men and Women’s Center at Site Development in Putatan
• Laguerta health center in Tunasan
• Multi-purpose community center in Ayala-Alabang

Having served as mayor of Muntinlupa from 1986 to 1998 and as congressman from 1998 to 2001, I can not feel but be proud of what Muntinlupa has achieved. And I also share the hopes of all Muntinlupeños for an even better city tomorrow.

Muntinlupa is currently headed by Jaime R. Fresnedi (city mayor). Rufino Rozanno Biazon represents the lone district of Muntinlupa in Congress. Engr. Alan A. Cachuela is the city administrator, assisted by deputy city administrator RJ Smith.

The following make up the city council: Celso A. Dioko (vice mayor and presiding officer), Councilors (District 1) Ivee A. Tadefa, Atty. Patricio L. Boncayao Jr. (majority floor leader), Bal Niefes, Stephanie G. Teves, Louisito A. Arciaga, Allan Camilon, Ringo A. Teves, and Alexander B. Diaz. Councilors (District 2): Christine Abas, Grace Gonzaga, Ma. Dhesiree G. Arevalo, Lucio Bago Constantino, Victor Ulanday, Marissa Rongavilla, Rafael T. Sevilla, Lester Baes. ABC Chairman is Walter A. Arcilla and Sanggunian Secretary is Cecile Lazarte.
Muntinlupa’s nine barangays are led as follows: Sucat – Mamerto Sevilla, Buli – Ric Cole, Cupang – Rainier Bulos, Alabang – Ahyie Gonzaga, Ayala Alabang – Ruben Baes, Bayanan – Ador San Pedro, Putatan – Danny Teves, Poblacion – Allen Ampaya, and Tunasan – Walter A Arcilla.

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