Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Road Abuse and Lack of Public Utility - Salvador Ext., Labangon, Cebu City

An almost 700 meter stretch of road known as Salvador Extension in Labangon, Cebu City is not serviced by any public utility jeepney. Years ago, the 12L jeepneys used to ply this route on its way back to the city, passing through Labangon, Duterte St., in Banawa, then through "eskina" V. Rama, M. Velez St., then towards Escario St., ending in Ayala Center.

From the junction of Katipunan and Salvador Sts., up to Dr. Pablo U. Abella St., this stretch of road is a veritable no man's land for public utility vehicles; because of the void, habal-habal drivers, as well as trisikads have taken over. For years the habal-habal drivers and trisikads have made the waiting shed near the Cebu City National Science High School their terminal.

Every now and again, CITOM (now CCTO) would conduct operations near the Cebu City National Science High School, but after they leave, these habal-habal drivers and trisikad drivers would come out of hiding and ply the almost 700 meter stretch of road once again. Being a resident of Labangon, Cebu City, I have always wondered why LTFRB took this route away from 12L jeepneys on their way to Ayala Center.

As an aside, I cannot but help remark that this beautiful four lane concrete stretch of road, in certain places, have been occupied by eateries being patronized by CITOM (now CCTO) personnel, taxi and jeepney drivers, and recently by car wash shops, rendering two (2) lanes on either side useless for the passage of vehicles. Maybe PROBE could visit the area around 4:00 o'clock to 6:00 o'clock to see what I mean.

Despite having been widened in the 1990s through the MCDP, I have yet to see the outer lanes of Salvador Extension used other than a parking lot, carenderia, or a car wash. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Nuisance Petition of Injunction with Prayer for issuance of TRO in Extrajudicial / Judicial Foreclosure of Real Estate Mortgages

All too often when a mortgagor is at the end of his leash he will secure the services of a lawyer to file an injunction suit against a recently filed Petition for Judicial Foreclosure of Real Estate Mortgage or an application for Extrajudicial Foreclosure of Real Estate Mortgage.

Before said injunction suit will be given due course or even the prayer for issuance of a temporary restraining order, the trial court will have to determine whether or not the same complies with the Rules set forth in AM No. 99-10-05-O otherwise the petition will be thrown out. To be sure, to prevent the filing of NUISANCE petitions, counsel must make sure to comply with the requirements set forth in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Admin Matter. Now what is this Administrative Matter all about? Here's the full text of the AM:


[A.M. No. 99-10-05-O : February 20, 2007]



Acting on the recommendation of the Committee on Revision of the Rules of Court, the Court RESOLVED to adopt the following additional rules with respect to Extrajudicial or Judicial Foreclosure of Real Estate Mortgages:

(1) No temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction against the extrajudicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage shall be issued on the allegation that the loan secured by the mortgage has been paid or is not delinquent unless the application is verified and supported by evidence of payment.

(2) No temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction against the extrajudicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage shall be issued on the allegation that the interest on the loan is unconscionable, unless the debtor pays the mortgagee at least twelve percent per annum interest on the principal obligation as stated in the application for foreclosure sale, which shall be updated monthly while the case is pending.

(3) Where a writ of preliminary injunction has been issued against a foreclosure of mortgage, the disposition of the case shall be speedily resolved. To this end, the court concerned shall submit to the Supreme Court, through the Office of the Court Administrator, quarterly reports on the progress of the cases involving ten million pesos and above.

(4) All requirements and restrictions prescribed for the issuance of a temporary restraining order/writ of preliminary injunction, such as the posting of a bond, which shall be equal to the amount of the outstanding debt, and the time limitation for its effectivity, shall apply as well to a status quo order.

Upon effectivity of these additional rules, all rules resolutions, orders and circulars of this Court, which are inconsistent therewith, are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

These additional Rules in the Procedure in Extrajudicial or Judicial Foreclosure of Real Estate Mortgages shall take effect on March 10, 2007 following their publication in a newspaper of general circulation not later than February 28, 2007.

February 20, 2007.

Chief Justice

Associate Justice
Associate Justice

Associate Justice
Associate Justice

Associate Justice
Associate Justice


Monday, July 27, 2015

The Smell Test

What is MY "smell test"? It's a simple way for me of knowing that a glass/cup used by restaurants hasn't been thoroughly cleaned. I put my nose near the lip of the glass/cup to check if there is a hint of that smell that comes from saliva. More often than not, these restaurants would fail this smell test. The nastiest offender of them all, in my book anyway, is a fast food place in an uptown Cebu mall, named after a musician. I took a whiff from the lip of the cup and I could smell it: saliva. 

One would most definitely know if its saliva and you know it isn't yours. Although they'd put a straw in your cup, one will have to wonder how thoroughly the cup was cleaned since it still smelled like someone's saliva. 

Do the test yourself, there are several establishments that do not use disposal cups. Try it and prepare to vomit.

The worst offenders are:
1. two of the oldest pizzarias in the Philippines.
2. a roast place named after a musician

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Colon Street, Cebu City Flooding

As far as I can remember, downtown Cebu City especially Colon St., is usually flooded during a downpour. Many solutions have been posed in order to address the problem but year after year during the rainy season, the flooding won't just stop.

Almost parallel to Colon St., we have the Estero Parian which is now heavily silted. A hundred years ago, this Estero was in fact navigable and contributed to the wealth of the Parian District as well as to Colon St., itself where stores and warehouses, then and now, are located.

Let us take a look at downtown Cebu City through historical maps, and let us see how Estero Parian almost completely disappeared.

This is a map of Ciudad de Zebu in 1643. Note that the city is surrounded by a waterway, some have speculated that this is a moat, but in fact it is not. It is actually the Estero Parian with its Northern and southern inlets. Towards the middle of the waterway, is a a depression, a tidal basin where seawater would pool in during high tide. In the early part of the Spanish Occupation, downtown Cebu was pretty much still swamp land, in fact, most of the coastal areas of Cebu City today is still marshy swamp land.

In 1699 when this Site Plan drafted, one can still see the southern and northern inlets of the tidal basin as can be seen on the bottom right side of this photo. (the map is not oriented north).

In the 1700s, a more accurate topographical map was commissioned by the Spaniards. This map would reveal that downtown Cebu City was actually like an island, similar to Cordova today, with tidal basin in what is now Manalili St.,

Eventually in the early 1800s, the land to the east of the Parian district was filled in. What used to be seashore eventually became the pier area. The Northern part of the Estero Parian greatly contributed to the wealth of those living in Parian and in Colon since cascos would take on cargo from the boats docked near or outside the pier, passing through the inlet in the area now occupied by the Tabacalera Bridge, on its way to the warehouses and stores along Colon St.

By the middle towards the late 1800s, the tidal basin disappeared, and the southern inlet changed course which eventually disappeared. But because the tidal basin is in fact a depression in the land, water would still pour into the area during a heavy downpour. 

Let us remember that just a century ago, during the American period, the Estero Parian, or the northern end of it, was still navigable. It was wide enough for small boats to carry its cargoes from the erstwhile dock area before it was moved closer to Fort San Pedro. This photo from the 1940s during the bombing raids conducted by the Americans would show how the Estero Parian looked like. (Photo not oriented to north)

With the passage of time, establishments encroached on the waterway easements and structures were built over the waterway and the Estero became heavily silted. With less than responsible residents, drains became clogged with garbage and soil which also contributed to the flooding of downtown Cebu, especially in the Colon area. 

The flooding issue in downtown Cebu City is not as simple as just putting in new drains, expanding the existing ones, and teaching residents not to throw their trash anywhere. An understanding of the geography of the area will also benefit the City. 

In summary, downtown Cebu City (geographically speaking) is:
1. swampy marshland;
2. approximately 0.5-5meters above sea level;
3. old waterways/esteros are heavily silted;
4. old waterways/esteros are encased in culverts underneath buildings;
5. has a depression near the Manalili area (V. Gullas)

How do we treat this problem? It should not take a lifetime if we want a livable Cebu.

UPDATE ---->
Atty. Mark Gregory Avila has kindly granted me permission to post this photo of the Estero Parian as viewed from Colonade Mall.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Automatic PhilHealth Coverage for Senior Citizens

Just recently passed in November 2014. The news article was lifted from GMA, read on for more information:

President Benigno Aquino III signed into law a measure granting automatic, lifetime membership of senior citizens to Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
In a statement Tuesday, Senator Ralph Recto, principal author of the Senate version of Republic Act (RA 10645), said Aquino signed the measure last week.
Under RA  10645 or "An Act Providing for the Mandatory PhilHealth Coverage for All Senior Citizens,” all citizens who are 60 years old and above will receive the benefits and discounts extended to ordinary PhilHealth members by just presenting a valid ID that proves their real age.
“Magpakita lang sila ng ID bilang patunay na sila'y senior citizen at matatanggap na nila mula sa ospital ang karapatang benepisyong laan sa mga miyembro ng PhilHealth," Recto said.
The RA 10645 amends RA No. 994 or “The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010”and removes the qualification that a senior citizen has to be an indigent or poor before qualifying for PhilHealth coverage, with premium payments fully subsidized by the national government.
Based on Senate records, there are roughly 6.1 million senior citizens in the Philippines today, of which 3.94 million are covered by PhilHealth either as indigent, sponsored, lifetime member, or dependent.
Recto said the signing of the new law brings the remaining 2.16 million senior under PhilHealth coverage.
“Health insurance can never be called universal if it does not cover all seniors. Enrolling them must be automatic, not optional. The ideal is that the minute they blow out the candles on their 60th birthday cake to the moment they breathe their last – they should be PhilHealth members," Recto said.

'Early Christmas gift'
Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, principal sponsor of RA 10645 and chairman of the Senate committee on health and demography, welcomed the President’s move, saying it can be considered an “early Christmas gift” to the Filipino elders.
“It is high time that we give back to our country's elders. In our culture, the condition and situation of a person in his or her advanced age is the reflection of the character of his or her children. How we take care of our senior citizens is also a mirror of our character as a nation," Guingona said in a separate statement.
“"It is the priority of this administration to give social protection services to all Filipinos. Let us start with our seniors," he added.
As of December 2013, there are a 76.90 million Filipinos covered by PhilHealth – 31.27 million of which are registered members and 45.63 million are dependents.
In 2013, PhilHealth reported P62 billion in premium contributions on top of P12.612 billion worth of subsidies from the national government.
Also last year, PhilHealth shelled out P55.559 billion in benefits payments.
Apart from Recto, the Senate version of RA 10645 was co-authored by Senators Guingona, Bam Aquino, Loren Legarda, Nancy Binay, Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara, Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia Cayetano, Francis Escudero, JV Ejercito, Vicente Sotto III, Sergio Osmena, Aquilino Pimentel III, Grace Poe, Sonny Trillanes, Gregorio Honasan, Manuel Lapid, Bongbong Marcos and Senate President Franklin Drilon. – VS, GMA News

Acknowledged Illegitimate Children

Previously, it became automatic and compulsory on the part of the illegitimate child to carry the surname of his/her illegitimate father whenever he/she will be acknowledged. However, the Supreme Court struck down the NSO's rules regarding the matter in GRACE M. GRANDE v. PATRICIO T. ANTONIO, G.R. NO. 206248, February 18, 2014. The Supreme Court held that Art. 176 of the Family Code gives illegitimate children the right to decide if they want to use the surname of their father or not. On its face, Art. 176, as amended, is free from ambiguity. And where there is no ambiguity, one must abide by its words. The use of the word “may” in the provision readily shows that an acknowledged illegitimate child is under no compulsion to use the surname of his illegitimate father. The word “may” is permissive and operates to confer discretion upon the illegitimate children.

With that in mind, if you do plan to acknowledge your illegitimate child, your child cannot yet take on your surname, when the time comes, your child will have to decide if he/she will use your surname. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Correction of Sex in Birth Certificate

No, this post does not involve sex change or sex reassignment surgery but merely correction of erroneous entries pertaining to gender(sex) in Philippine birth certificates.

Before the passage of Republic Act 10172, in case of erroneous entries of genders, one had no other option but to file a Petition for the Correction of Entries in the Civil Registry under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. This Petition under Rule 108 could be quite tedious and may take time, (not to mention money) from the petitioner since one had to secure the services of lawyer, pay his acceptance and appearance fees, court fees, etc. just to correct one entry (such as gender).

With Republic Act 10172, one need not secure the services of a lawyer in order to file a petition in court. In fact, filing of a petition in court is no longer necessary! It is as simple as filling out a form and having your signature notarized, but that is after you have secured some necessary documents. As regards gender, the entry in the birth certificate must be erroneous, this simply means that you must be biologically male or female and the entry appearing in your birth certificate states you are otherwise. Remember: One must be biologically male or female. You cannot change your gender if you had sex reassignment surgery or had a sex change.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pizza Republic "Pick + Mix" - Cebu

There's this new pizza place along Salinas Drive in Lahug, Cebu City where you can actually pick the ingredients you would want to be placed on your very own pizza. If you remember the noodle joint in Ayala Center, Cebu, called Kublai Khan, Pizza Republic Pick + Mix would be the Kublai Khan of pizza. The service is good, and your pizza will be made according to your exacting specifications.

I was able to visit Pizza Republic Pick + Mix with my girlfriend to try out what they had to offer after hearing good things about it. In what seemed like an assembly line, you get to choose your ingredients and the crew will prepare it for you. A few short minutes later, your pizza is ready to be devoured. The ambiance was nice, so was the pizza, and of course the service. HOWEVER, what irked me a bit is the southern wall of the pizza joint. A few of our friends pointed out that it was not filled with graffiti and post-it notes a few months back.

I've seen so-called coffeeshops (mostly Korean-styled coffeeshops) where their walls are bedecked with post-it notes and graffiti. I've always frowned upon those coffeeshops, those things on their wall remind me of some bathroom in a highschool for juvenile delinquents. I don't really know why people would want to uglify an otherwise wall with all those graffiti and post-it notes. It actually becomes a turn off. If that's your thing, well, you're in luck.

Going back to Pizza Republic, I don't really know if the joint is trying to sport a public toilet look, but those things on their walls look unsanitary, unsightly, and ugly, but more importantly, it cheapens the place. Even their Facebook page sports that ugly wall full of awful grammar and ugly graffiti. Obviously they allow people to scribble stuff on their walls or post post-it notes but I wonder how they would react if I brought with me several cans of spray paint and tag the whole wall with my name. What would be the difference? I see none.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pick up After your Dog

Dogs. I love dogs but I hate dog shit and their owners who indiscriminately let their dog take a shit without picking up after them. There should be a City Ordinance about responsible pet ownership.

I find it bothersome that most people with dogs would take them out for a walk and have them shitting all over the place and not pick up after them. Every morning, I find pieces of dog shit scattered outside my front gate and in the afternoon, it would be scattered all over my driveway as I drive over it. That's not responsible pet ownership. How would you feel if I let my dog shit in front of your gate or on your driveway?

There was this one incident where I caught one of those dog-owners walking his dog, then it started sniffing and circling around, as a dog owner myself, I know that it's one of those telltale signs that her dog was about to take a dump. I immediately called the attention of the dog owner, telling her, "sakwata ang tae sa imong iro", to which she retorted, "uga bitaw ang tae sa iro, sir". That is not the frigging point, I told her. I immediately handed her a plastic bag (good thing it wasn't a Saturday, otherwise, I'd hand her a flimsy paper bag) and told her once again, "sakwata ang tae sa imong iro". She looked at me strangely, as if she did not understand the reason why I gave her a plastic bag, and I pointed to the steaming pile of dog shit and said, "hiposa ang tae sa imong iro". She then tried to say that her dog took a shit on the sidewalk, a public thoroughfare, and I said again, with all the more reason you should pick up after your dog. People might step on it, nothing can be as bad as stepping on dog shit on the way to work, or home, or where ever.

So she begrudgingly scooped up the stinking pile of dog shit using the plastic bag I gave her.

It's nice to own pets, it's wonderful taking care of pets, but people just have no discipline or sense of responsibility. Be a responsible pet owner. Pick up after your dog. It won't take five minutes to take care of the mess.

Legal Advice, Legal Opinion, Legal Onion.

I've always had this policy of providing free legal advice/opinion to students and former students about their personal legal concerns. I must emphasize the term "personal legal concerns", it does not cover matters relating to inquiries from their employers. Like this one student who sent me a message stating that she wanted to ask me something, so I gave her my email. As it turns out, it was not a personal matter at all, but a matter pertaining to her employer. I stopped reading the email when it became apparent that the question did not involve her (directly), so I messaged her that if her employer is amenable, I shall be assessing the company where is employed my standard consultation fee.

And that was that, the former student found it steep, and it should be. For the legal concern her employer had involved thousands of pesos (thankfully it was not in millions of pesos) which it had no legal right to withhold. To cut the story short, I did not dispense any legal advice since her employer  was not agreeable my proposed fee assessment.

It may be perhaps unfortunate that I'm teaching Labor Laws and some former students, by the time they are employed, will perhaps try to seek legal advice/opinion for their bosses, and try to get it for free. Alas, those matters aren't personal in nature and I do not provide pro bono services to companies/organizations who, in my considered opinion, had caused form of injustice to their employees.

I guess that's just how a LEGAL ONION would work. No legal opinion, just a legal onion for you.