Fort Bonifacio, especially the portion called Bonifacio Global City (BGC), has many nice features that attract people to move in here to live or work, despite its higher cost of real estate, water bills and parking fees. Nonetheless, it does not mean that people have nothing to complain about.
Our social media accounts often receive complaints from people working or living here about one thing or another, because we are being mistaken by some as the local authorities of Fort Bonifacio, when in fact we are an independent private company that is not affiliated with any developer or local government unit.
In this article, we share what we know about the role of different authorities in dealing with public issues arising in BGC, so that residents and workers can contact the right authorities to voice their concerns, and hopefully, get helpful responses.
Traffic management and security within BGC
Bonifacio Global City is a real estate joint venture between Base Conversion Development Corporation and a private consortium that includes Ayala Land, Inc. and Evergreen Holdings, Inc. (source). This joint venture sold some lots within BGC to other developers such as Megaworld Corporation (owner of Forbestown Road buildings and Uptown buildings) and Federal Land (owner of Grand Hyatt Manila and surrounding residential buildings), while keeping ownership of the rest to themselves.
All matters that take place within BGC are within the purview of a company called Bonifacio Global City Estate Association (BGCEA), which is formed by all lot owners of BGC. This means that, if you have the ears of BGCEA members, you can affect the way things are done in BGC. The bigger the lot, the larger the influence.
The authority to manage traffic and security within it lies with Bonifacio Estate Services Corporation, a company formed by BGCEA to manage BGC on a day to day basis. So if your concern is about the way that marshalls carry out their duties or not, BESC is the body to contact.
BGC marshalls are employed by BESC and are deputised by Taguig City to issue parking tickets.
However, when it comes to towing vehicles, it is unclear whether the towing service, L & B is hired by BESC or Taguig City, while the new measure of wheel-clamp appears to be implementing a barangay law.
Also, the jurisdiction of managing roads is not straightforward as well.
In a news article published in March 2017, it was reported that BCDA was able to lift an injunction order disallowing it to control access to a road because at that time the dispute of whether BGC belonged to Taguig City or Makati City was not settled. A logical deduction from this piece of news is that, when a major thoroughfare located in Bonifacio Global City is concerned, the city hall may have some say on its management.
Private lots within BGC
Private lots sold by the joint venture of BCDA and Ayala etc., such as Forbestown, which is located between Burgos Circle and 26th Street, can have roads within it that are open to the public. In these cases, who manages the traffic there?
We do not know for certain. From observation, the BGC marshalls seldom go into Forbestown Road to chase away vehicles waiting by the road side. Some security personnel wearing different uniforms sometimes will manage the traffic there, but we have not yet ascertained if they are hired by the lot owner Megaworld Corporation or BESC.
At the same time, we have been told that roads in the Uptown and Federal Land's Veritown Fort area may be turned over to BESC for management. So the owners of private lots can decide to let BESC manage their roads.
There are also parking lots attendents along Forbestown Road in the evening. Since we have not done on-street parking there, we do not know for certain that they are hired by Megaworld or not. If the on-street parking is managed by the lot owner Megaworld, then they are probably also responsible for the management of traffic in Forbestown Road.
On the other hand, it is clear that the humps installed in Forbestown Road to slow down vehicles in order to help pedestrians cross the street are built on the instruction of BGCEA by BESC, as can be seen in this article. We may infer that the maintenance (as different from management) of the road is the responsibility of BESC.
Events and public parks in BGC
BGC is well known for the many public events held in Bonifacio High Street. Concerns or inquiries about such events should be addressed to Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation, which is a company formed by BCDA, Ayala Land Corporation and Evergreen Holdings to develop the remaining land in BGC that is owned by these three parties. BCDA owns over 51% of FBDC.
Operationally, in addition to real estate development, FBDC appears to undertake a lot of marketing and community liaison work on behalf of these three parties. FBDC is the body that is in charge of events held on Bonifacio High Street.
The day-to-day management of public parks such as Terra 28, Track 30 and De Jesus Oval are carried out by BESC, but if you want to hold an event there, you will need to discuss with FBDC first, since they represent the owners of these lots.
FBDC also promotes community activities, like the monthly BGC Yard Sale at De Jesus Oval, but the actual facilitation of the event is done by BESC.
Politically, BGC and McKinley West are located within Barangay Fort Bonifacio, which is a barangay under Taguig City. (McKinley Hill belongs to barangay Pinagsama, according to Google map. Oddly, we cannot find any reference to its barangays in the website of Taguig City office.) The authority of Taguig City over BGC can best be seen by the recent issue regarding the anti-Smoking law.
Some people may confuse the anti-Smoking law passed by Taguig City (Ordinance No. 15 Series 2017) with the Executive Order No. 26 announced by the Philippine government. E.O. No. 26 bans smoking in enclosed public places (e.g. cinema and indoor restaurants), while the Taguig City law bans smoking in many more places, including public sidewalks. See here for more information about the Taguig City law.
Since the power to enforce city rules lies with Taguig City, only Taguig City law enforcing officers could issue penalty tickets for people who broke the Taguig City law. But Taguig City can deputize the specific authority to another body, as they did to BGC marshalls in early May to issue tickets to people who break the City's Ordinance No. 15. It can be seen, therefore, that BGC marshalls need to have specific authorities delegated to them before they can enforce a government law.
In sum, if you have views concerning Ordinance No. 15, you should contact Taguig City hall. If your view is about how the Ordinance is implemented in BGC, you can either contact BESC, or, if you are not satisfied with their response, make your view known to Taguig City hall.
We learned of a recent case when a BGC resident was unhappy about the problem of littering in BGC. She was pleasantly surprised that her post in a social media got the attention of the mayor, who told action on it. See the post here. This is an example of what the local government can do in BGC.
However, as we are not lawyers, we cannot answer questions of exactly what the local government can do within a private development, or what are the responsibilities of the local authority regarding public roads or facilities inside a private development.
Barangay Fort Bonifacio
In mid May, a public holiday was declared to allow people to vote in barangay elections. Quiz: how many people knew who the candidates were?
The answer is, we do not know either. We only knew that one candidate was Jorge Bocobo, and that, according to a personnel at the barangay satellite office located at the 2nd floor of Market!Market!, he has been elected as the new barangay captain, and will assume his office in July 2018. We would like to congratulate Mr Bocobo for winning the election here.
We visited the barangay office of Fort Bonifacio on May 28, and by chance had a brief discussion with incumbent barangay caption, Mr. Alan E. Oliman.
Mr Oliman was very friendly, and answered our questions patiently and clearly.
We put two situations to him and sought his advice.
Annoying noise produced by vehicles on the street. We have received complaint by a resident of a high rise unit in One Serendra that he had been kept awake by the sharp honking of some passenger vans that plied along 11th Avenue in early morning or late at night. How could he make them stop?
Pedestrian crossing facilities at Lawton Avenue between BGC and McKinley Hill. When we drive through Lawton Avenue in the evening, we sometimes find it difficult to see people crossing the street. There are pedestrian crossing marks in some places, but they are quite worn out, and are not lit up. Since Lawton Avenue is not lit up, it is really dangerous for pedestrians at night.
In the case of noise complaint, Mr. Oliman suggested that the complainant writes a letter to the barangay office. The barangay office can then discuss the issue with BESC if they see merit in it, since BESC manages the traffic in BGC.
He also suggested that if a case was supported by many residents, it would have a better chance of getting heard. This is reasonable, as the authorities need to weigh the views from different parties, and they need to prioritize issues according to the scale of the problem as well as other considerations.
Regarding the second situation, it was a matter that involved financial resources, such as who will pay for the work of installing better pedestrian crossing facilities and the long term electricity bill.
Mr. Oliman said that the barangay did not have resources for such work. If the request was supported by many residents, he would endorse it to Taguig City hall for their consideration.
Unfortunately, we do not think residents who need to use the pedestrian crossings will sign a letter to City Hall, because those who are negatively affected are people who do not have the time or knowledge to make such requests.
In sum, the barangay office can serve as a bridge between City Hall and the residents of Fort Bonifacio, which includes BGC and McKinley West, and since BESC will pay attention to the City officials, getting your views known to the barangay office can be a way of getting BESC to listen.
How to contact the authorities
The authorities mentioned above have offices in various places in Taguig City.
You can find their contact information below as well as in articles, and our printed The Fort Directory, which will be distributed to buildings in BGC in June.
Bonifacio Global City Estate Association (BGCEA):
2/F, Bonifacio Technology Center, BGC
(02) 818-3601 loc. 2102
Bonifacio Estate Services Corporation (BESC):
2/F, Bonifacio Technology Center, BGC
(02) 816 2372
Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation (FBDC):
2/F, Bonifacio Technology Center, BGC
(02) 818 3601
Taguig City Satellite Office:
9/F, SM Aura Office Tower, 26th Street corner McKinley Parkway, BGC
(02) 425 9205
Barangay Fort Bonifacio Satellite Office:
2/F, Market! Market! Mall, 26th Street Corner C5 26th Street corner C5 Road, BGC
(02) 861 1780
Bases Conversion and Development Authority:
2/F, Bonifacio Technology Center, BGC
(02) 575 1700
This article is a work-in-progress, like an entry in wikipedia. Information shown here is based on personal knowledge and there may be omission or errors. In addition, we are not lawyers, so do not take this information in this article as legal advice.
If you can improve, correct or add to this article, please let us know by commenting.