ORTIGAS CENTER DECLARED
A TOURISM ZONE BY DOT
Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez Jr. of the Department Of Tourism (DOT) lauded the Antonio Village Association (AVA) as the partner non-governmental organization (NGO), tasked with the magnanimous project of transforming the Ortigas Center into a tourists' destination dubbed as "Little Singapore Of The Philippines"
The Secretary, in a message to the newly elected officers of AVA led by its Chairman, Atty. Jose Malvar Villegas Jr. and its President, Atty. Rogelio D. Garcia on the occassion of AVA's induction ceremony held at Astoria Plaza in Pasig City, said that AVA should be congratulated for having started creating the blueprint to make Ortigas Center "more fun" by considering the value of the communities in the vision of making Ortigas as tourists' destination.
"So simple a line as it is "It's more fun in the Philippines" means that we're not just be another group of buildings and villages, without the warm and vibrant Filipinos who make staying, shopping, working and conducting business more fun", Jimenez said.
Giving tourists an experience of "more fun" is bound to have positive effects in the community's residents and workplace. Culturally, economically and even environmentally, in the end, any scoreboard wih the President is not the number of tourists that arrived but the number of lives we have improved and with AVA's initiative, the Philippines is most definitely on its way to reaching its national tourism budget of 10 million tourists arrival by 2016.
At the same time, Pasig City councilor Atty. Christian G. Sia, Chairman of the Committee on Public Relations and non-government organizations, AVA's Inducting Officer, said that knowing too well the great contribution AVA has given towards the total upliftment of Ortigas Center in particular, and Pasig City in general, for the past 36 years. The city government urged its newly elected officers to renew their passion for civic services and likewise, congratulated the Citizens Crime Watch (CCW) led by Atty. Villegas, its Founder and Chairman, for helping maintain peace and order at the Ortigas with the deployment soon of CCW-AVA street patrol units.
Aside from lawyers Villegas and Garcia, other officers inducted to office by Councilor Sia were: Mr. Wilfredo M. Quitiongco, CPA - Executive Vice President; Engr. Rogelio B. Matias - Vice President for Internal Affairs; Mr. Charles W. McCaffrey - Vice President for External Affairs; Mr. George P. Barcenilla - Board Secretary; Ms. Ma. Cecilia C. Vergara - Asst. Board Secretary; Prof. Nenita Y. Davadilla - Treasurer; Engr. Jonathan S. Ortiz - Auditor; Engr. Jose Renato T. Sasot - PRO; Mr. Nick "Romano" D. Laxa - Asst. PRO; Directors are Mr. Godwin V. Garin; Engr. Emilio V. Aco; Mr. Antonio D. Kalaw Jr; and Engr. Ernesto C. Villaluna. The three advisers are Mr. Roy Eduardo T Lucero, former AVA President; Gen. Angel L. Sadang (Ret), Consultant; and Atty. Ismael F. Mejia, Chief Legal Counsel.
ATTY. JOSE MALVAR VILLEGAS JR. - CITIZENS CRIME WATCH CHAIRMAN/FOUNDER AND MYSTICA - THE CCW SENIOR CONSULTANT OF TRI-MEDIA AND MEDIA AFFAIRS, THE CHAIRMAN OF CITIZENS CRIME WATCH - BETTER GLOBE TASK FORCE & RESCUE TEAM, & THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION (NCR) CHAIRMAN OF JUNIOR CITIZENS CRIME WATCH.
An Introduction to the Antonio Village Association and What It Does For You
(by Jake Kessel, AVA Public Affairs Advisor)
Overview: The purpose of this article is to inform the Ortigas community about the Antonio Village Association (AVA), Inc.- its mission (charter), its vision for the community it serves, and the progress it has achieved so far in fulfilling these important objectives. We’ll briefly review AVA’s organizational revival in the Ortigas area as a Non-Government Organization (NGO) and partner with the National Government and the Pasig City Government in serving the needs of residents, businesses and members of the work force in improving the quality of life for all who live, work and visit here. We’ll then outline how AVA’s transition has occurred - from a neighborhood organization serving local residents to its evolution as an effective, dynamic force in the community for achieving increased tourism and the improvement in lives boosted tourism activity will provide. Finally, we’ll briefly review the plans and activities that have already been set in motion to achieve AVA’s important vision, and how you will benefit from the efforts of this organization.
The Antonio Village Association (AVA) Organization and Board of Directors:
Organization: AVA’s principal organization structure is its Board of Directors and those Standing and Special Committees formed and appointed by the Board. The Association is established within Barangay San Antonio, and is an officially recognized Non-Government partner in governance with the City of Pasig. It is also the officially recognized Non-Government Organization partnered with the National Government’s Department of Tourism, tasked with the project of transforming the Ortigas Center into a tourist destination. We call that project “Little Singapore”. The AVA Board of Directors is composed of unpaid volunteers working together, who are experienced professionals from many walks of life. The Officers and Directors are elected from members of AVA who, by definition, are residents of Barangay San Antonio, and serve 4 year terms.
Board of Directors: The AVA Board consists of the following 15 members, each elected to a four year term, and three Advisors, appointed by the Board:
Attorney Jose Malvar Villegas Jr., Chairman
Attorney Rogelio D. Garcia, President
Mr. Wilfredo M. Quitiongco, Executive Vice President
Engineer Rogelio B. Matias, Vice President for Internal Affairs
Mr. Charles W. McCaffrey, Vice President for External Affairs
Mr. George P. Barcenilla, Board Secretary
Mrs. Ma. Cecilla C. Vergara, Assistant Secretary
Professor Nenita Y. Davadilla, Treasurer
Engineer Jonathan S. Ortiz, Auditor
Engineer Jose Renato T. Sasot, Public Relations Officer
Mr. Nic “Romano” D. Laxa, Assistant Public Relations Officer
Mr. Godwin V. Garin, Director
Engineer Emilio V. Aco, Director
Mr. Antonio D. Kalaw, Jr., Director
Engineer Ernesto C. Villaluna, Director
Mr. Roy Eduard T Lucero, Advisor & Former AVA President
General Angel L. Sadang (Retired), Consultant
Attorney Ismael F. Mejia, Chief Legal Counsel
AVA’s Transition: Starting as a residential homeowners’ association formed in 1976 within Barangay San Antonio, AVA has long represented the interests of the homeowners and tenants living within the Barangay compound. As it became known that the Barangay includes residents outside of the commonly defined Barangay compound itself, the need for AVA’s representational responsibilities to be more inclusive became evident. Meanwhile, the Ortigas area continued to grow, and the needs of the community became more complex. It became evident the Association needed to keep pace with progress, and work more towards improving quality of life for the people who live, work and visit here. By the year 2008, several Association members, some of them officers and former officers/directors of the initial Association, started meeting together to see what could be done to re-vitalize the organization. Meetings were held, volunteer residents interested in community improvement attended, and brainstorming-type sessions addressed the needs of the community that needed attention. Chief among the concerns of this group and the residents they represented, were the issues of security, crime prevention, traffic congestion and environmental concerns, particularly with respect to illegal and unhealthful activities and structures appearing unabated. Once it was determined AVA had to be revitalized, it was decided that the Articles of Incorporation had to be updated, the Board would expand from 12 to 15 members, and elections would be held as current terms were to expire. Board members elected in the most recent election were inducted on May 26, 2012 by Honorable Attorney Christian G. Sia, Councilor, City of Pasig.
AVA CULINARY ARTS CONSULTANT LOUDETTE DAYRIT; AVA DIRECTOR & CHAIRMAN OF FINANCE COMMITTEE ENGR. EMILIO V. ACO; AVA DIRECTOR ENGR. ERNESTO C. VILLALUNA; AVA EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT & CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE WILFREDO M. QUITIONGCO; AVA CHAIRMAN & CHAIRMAN ON "LITTLE SINGAPORE" COMMITTEE ATTY. JOSE MALVAR VILLEGAS JR.; MYSTICA CHARITY FOUNDATION PRESIDENT/FOUNDER AND BETTER GLOBE PHILIPPINES MANAGING DIRECTOR AS WELL AS AVA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MARKETING, ADVERTISING, ENVIRONMENTAL & PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE AND ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCER & DIRECTOR MYSTICA; AVA BOARD SECRETARY & CHAIRMAN OF MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE GEORGE P. BARCENILLA; AND AVA TREASURER & CHAIRMAN OF CLEANLINESS AND BEAUTIFICATION COMMITTEE PROF. NENITA Y. DAVADILLA
Working Together: AVA Chairman Attorney Villegas, AVA President Roger Garcia, AVA Secretary George Barcenilla, AVA Executive Vice President Mr. Wilfredo M. Quitiongco, other AVA Directors and Advisors have worked together to get this fine effort officially recognized by the Philippine Government, as well as by the City of Pasig and Barangay San Antonio. The project given to AVA by the Secretary of Tourism has been dubbed “Little Singapore” by Attorney Villegas, and the Board is pushing forward on this important and worthwhile effort.
Achievements So Far: Briefly recounted here is what AVA, with the cooperation from organizations and communities have accomplished so far:
- 2010 to present: AVA revitalized. Articles of Incorporation revised; “Little Singapore” vision developed.
- 2010, 2011, and 2012: Efforts to improve safety and enforcement of laws intended to bring security to our residents and compliance with regulations
AVA EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT & CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE WILFREDO M. QUITIONGCO; AVA BOARD SECRETARY & CHAIRMAN OF MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE GEORGE P. BARCENILLA AND AVA CHAIRMAN ON "LITTLE SINGAPORE" COMMITTEE ATTY. JOSE MALVAR VILLEGAS JR.
contributing to health, security, safety and quality of life, were addressed. AVA filed a Bill of Particulars with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) to seek corrective action on the following:
- Remove Talipapa (street vendors) on the sidewalks and the Talipapa restaurant on the corner of St. Escriva Drive and Gold Loop
- Eliminate the unauthorized jeepney terminal near Gold Loop Drive
- Reduce criminal elements (snatchers, drugs, prostitutes) lurking in the area
- Eliminate unauthorized activities relating to raising fighting cocks for illegal
- Eliminate unauthorized activities relating to raising fighting cocks for illegal events
- Prevent improper sale of designated open areas to commercial developers
- Address issues relating to undocumented residents living in crowded, unapproved housing structures