Roundup Bits: JAKA Tower, Uber, and El Hogar

Some interesting news around the metropolis have developed recently. Let this roundup serve as an update to what has been going on.

See more for the updates below…

A new lease of life for the JAKA Tower…hopefully

Finally, after years of being Makati’s eyesore, the first steps of making JAKA Tower into a full-fledged structure have been taken recently.

This comes after a report that Ayala Land has completed the acquisition of the property and will finish the construction of this long-bare structure.

That being said, they will not demolish the property as they have deemed the structure as still sound. Instead, the structure, once finished, will be integrated with Ayala Land’s redevelopment plans for the Makati, particularly the area near the corner of Ayala and Sen. Gil Puyat Avenues that will be called City Gate.

Interestingly, one of the components of this City Gate plan is currently under construction at the site of the former Amorsolo Parking Lot, which is a mall-office-hotel complex in the area.

It will be interesting to see what Ayala plans for JAKA Tower. But at least, it will be given new life in the midst of the developments going on around it.

LTFRB suspends its actions against Uber

Finally, some sense has knocked into the heads of the people at the LTFRB, thanks in part to the public outrage against them for their recent actions against the ride-sharing app Uber.

image courtesy of Unbox

The LTFRB has indefinitely suspended its operations apprehending Uber vehicles for not having a franchise license, pending a meeting they will have with the officials from Uber as to how to go about this matter.

It has been reported that one of the options the LTFRB was looking into was granting a franchise to the Uber vehicles, despite a moratorium currently place on granting new franchises especially to taxis. It will be interesting how the taxi operators would react to this since it has been said that the campaign of the LTFRB against Uber was brought about by the petition of the taxi operators against it.

It remains to be seen what will be the outcome of this planned meeting but as commuters, we can only hope for a win-win solution for all.

The ongoing struggle for El Hogar

Alarms were raised last week as there have been movements going on in the El Hogar Filipino Building. The placement of metal roof barriers around the building was a cause of concern as this may be the first step in the eventual demolition of the building. Thankfully, Manila City Hall was quick to act on it as there was no permit from the city to even place barriers around the building. Thus they were removed.

This does however raise an important question: if the still-anonymous buyer dared to erect barriers even without city permit, how much more they are capable of doing right under our noses?

In the midst of the current state of “limbo” as far as this matter is concerned, a little activity was held last Sunday outside El Hogar for two reasons. One was to do a digital scanning of the building (its facade at least) for documentation which would somehow help in the building’s preservation, even in the virtual realm…at the moment. You can check out the result of this digital documentation below:

The other was to show support for El Hogar and Philippine Heritage as a whole, protesting any moves that would lead to its loss and destruction. Those in attendance were a number of heritage advocates, including tour guide Ivan Man Dy and architect/writer Paulo Alcazaren.

photo courtesy of James Ong for Coconuts Manila

One can only hope these voices for heritage would not remain unheeded. Hopefully.

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