Poverty line crossing religious rights

By Jamie Rosseditt Garcesa

BRGY. 95, DECENA, Pasay City – It was around four o’clock in the afternoon on a Saturday, October 24, 2015 when children of the said barangay started lurking and playing outside of their homes upon reaching the barangay hall.

A Chinese-looking girl, who happens to be a student assistant in Letran, came by and gave decisive directions.

Pasok na lang kayo d’yan, andyan yung mga kagawad. Kaya lang wala si Sir Leeroy,” she said.

The barangay hall looked like an old-structured house that made it very hospitable to guests. By knowing that students from Letran were their visitors, they automatically smiled and offered seats.

“Ahh, Letran pala kayo. Partner [community] niyo kami eh,” Mrs. Sanchez, the barangay’s bookkeeper said.

Ano bang pakay niyo? Wala pa si Kapitan, around 5PM pa siya dadating. Nasa kapilya pa,” Kag. Edith Remanente said.

By explaining the purpose of the interview, Kag. Remanente agreed to have a few exchange of words.

Catholicism

The community service that the Letran Operations Management Society (LOMS) planned for Brgy. 95 was Kumpil or the Sacrament of Confirmation. Unfortunately, the community service is set to be implemented next semester due to activity ban.

On the other hand, LOMS will still be lucky because according to Kag. Remanente, there is a huge number of Catholics in their barangay.

Pero if you’ll ask me kung bata or matanda ang mas maraming hindi pa nakakapagkumpil, matatanda ‘yun. Kasi ang mga bata, kasama ‘yun sa school nila eh. When they reach Grade 6, that’s compulsory,” she added.

“Every year, tuwing fiesta ng Sta. Clara ‘pag February, sabay-sabay na ‘yun. Libreng binyag, kasal, at kumpil. Catholic kasi si Kapitan kaya active kami [religious affairs],” Mrs. Sanchez said.

According to Kag. Remanente, the reason why the number of adults are more than the children was because of financial matters. Instead of paying for the Confirmation, they’d just set their money to buy their basic needs.

Community Services offered by Letran

Colegio de San Juan de Letran, upholding its mission and vision, has a vast number of partner communities may it be schools, barangays, provinces, and the like. Brgy. 95, Decena, Pasay City is one of those.

Through Kagawad and Inst. Robert Leeroy Lim, the barangay was chosen and is now a partner community of Letran for three years.

Marami nang naging community service ang Letran dito. Medical and dental missions, feeding programs, livelihood programs. Dati ‘yung livelihood program niyo dito about virgin coconut oil ‘yun eh. Tsaka sports clinic. ‘Yung dental mission naman libreng bunot tsaka libreng gamot din,” Kag. Edith Remanente recalled.

They also shared that there were some Letran students who went to their barangay to conduct a door-to-door survey. Truly, Letran has been close to their hearts ever since.

Constituents matter

Having been a partner community of Letran for three years, the barangay officials agreed that their most important need among all the community services offered is the health services.

“I’m not saying na hindi important ‘yung kumpil since meron na [yearly] but health services is our number one priority. Everything we accept here basta para sa constituents,” Kag. Edith Remanente remarked.

Pasay City is composed of 201 barangays and 20 zones. As students of Letran, we are looking forward to becoming one with other barangays in their city not just to promote our core values but to be young advocates that aims to help in molding a better future.

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Erap allocates P300M to put up more street lights in city next year

by Jamie Rosseditt Garcesa

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Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada shares plans to make Manila the ‘City of Light’
(Photo from GMA News)

Envisioning Manila as the country’s “City of Light” like Paris, Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada will set aside P300 million in funds to continue his ongoing street lighting project in the city next year.

Estrada said he wants the entire city lighted up, from major thoroughfares to barangay streets, as an anti-crime measure during nighttime and in continuance of his urban renewal and beautification program for the capital city.

“I would like to see Manila as the ‘Paris of Asia,’ our own ‘City of Lights’ while at the same time ensuring the safety of our constituents at nighttime,” the mayor said as he assured continuous funding for the street lighting project. “No single street or alley will be left unlighted.”

Well-lighted roads, Estrada pointed out, also help promote trade in commercial and tourist areas such as Malate and Ermita.

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Highly developed city of Manila
(Photo from Rappler)

Since 2015, the city government has installed new lampposts along a total of 91.1 kilometers of streets worth over P100 million, according to engineer Lorenzo Alconera, city electrical division chief.

These include major roads such as Dapitan, Moriones, M. H. del Pilar, Mabini, Pedro Gil, Onyx, Oroquieta and portions of Roxas Boulevard, Taft Avenue, Vito Cruz, United Nations Avenue and Quirino Avenue, among other places.

The city government recently inaugurated 51 new street lights from Pedro Gil to Quirino Avenue, part of Manila’s tourist belt area. This was followed by 56 more units from Quirino Avenue to Sta. Ana Church.

For 2017, the city official said at least P300 million will be allocated to put up an estimated 800 more new street lights.

“Next year, we’ll be concentrating on District 1, the area of Tondo. Then the entire city target natin na mapailawan na lahat,” Alconera said. “There will be no let-up. The mayor doesn’t like the dark.”

In 2015, Estrada allocated P61 million for the project and P128 million more in 2016; close to 2,000 LED lampposts have so far been installed throughout Manila.

The installation of street lights has drastically reduced street crimes throughout the city, particularly at nighttime, barangay officials confirmed.

The project is also in line with the city government’s urban renewal program — which is aimed at reviving Manila’s old glory — that included improved landscaping, renovation of historic parks and monuments, and more convenient facilities.