Valenzuela, Philippines

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Not to be confused with Venezuela.
Valenzuela
Highly urbanized city
New Valenzuela City Complex
New Valenzuela City Complex
Official seal of Valenzuela
Seal
Nickname(s): The Vibrant City, The City of Discipline
Motto: Valenzuela, May Disiplina (Valenzuela with Discipline)
Anthem: "Himig Valenzuela" ("Valenzuela Hymn")
Location within Metro Manila
Location within Metro Manila
Valenzuela is located in Philippines
Valenzuela
Valenzuela
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 14°40′58″N 120°58′1″E / 14.68278°N 120.96694°E / 14.68278; 120.96694Coordinates: 14°40′58″N 120°58′1″E / 14.68278°N 120.96694°E / 14.68278; 120.96694
Country  Philippines
Region National Capital Region
(Third district)[1]
Province None (was part of Bulacan until 1975)
Legislative districts 1st and 2nd
Established November 12, 1623[2][3]
Cityhood February 14, 1998[4]
Government
 • Type Strong mayor-council government (LGU)
 • Representatives
 • Mayor Rexlon T. Gatchalian[7] (NPC)
 • Vice mayor Eric M. Martinez[8] (Liberal)
Area
 • Highly urbanized city 47.02 km2 (18.15 sq mi)
 • Water 3.995 km2 (1.542 sq mi)
 • Urban 31.559 km2 (12.185 sq mi)
 • Rural 5.504 km2 (2.125 sq mi)
Area rank 119th of 143 cities
Elevation[9] 38 m (125 ft)
Population (2010)[10]
 • Highly urbanized city 575,356
 • Estimate (2013) 605,379
 • Rank 13th of 143 cities
 • Density 12,000/km2 (32,000/sq mi)
Demonym Valenzuelaño
Divisions
 • Barangays 33
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 1440–48
1469
0550
0560 (see below)
Area code(s) 02
ISO 3166 code PH-00[11]
Twin cities
 • Bucheon (2006)[12][13] South Korea Gyeonggi (SK)
 • Santa Cruz (2008)[14] Philippines Marinduque (PH)
 • Koronadal (2011)[15] Philippines S. Cotabato (PH)
Spoken languages Tagalog, English, Chinese, Spanish and other regional languages
Website valenzuela.gov.ph
Population estimate of 2013 is based on National Statistics Office's average estimate for the country for the years 2000–2010.[10]

Valenzuela (/vɒlənzjˈɛlɑː/; Tagalog pronunciation: [ˌbɐlenzuˈwelɐ] ( )),[n 1] officially known as the City of Valenzuela[16] (Filipino: Lungsod ng Valenzuela) (ISO: PH-00; PSGC: 137504000[11]) or simply Valenzuela City, is the 119th largest city of the Philippines and one of the 16 cities plus a municipality that compose the region of Metro Manila, located about 14 km (7.9 miles) north of Manila. Valenzuela is categorized by virtue of Republic Act Nos. 7160 and 8526 as a highly urbanized, first-class city based on income classification and number of population.[17][18][19] A chartered city located on the island of Luzon, it is bordered by Meycauayan (Bulacan) in the north, Quezon City and northern Caloocan to the east; by Obando (Bulacan) to the west; by Malabon, southern Caloocan and Tullahan River to the south. With a land mass of 47.02 km2 and a population of 575,356 in August 2010, Valenzuela is the 13th most populous city in the Philippines. Valenzuela's population is composed of 72% Tagalog people followed by 5% Bicolanos. Small percentage of foreign nationals reside in the city.

Valenzuela was named after Pío Valenzuela, a doctor and a member of Katipunan. The town preceding Valenzuela that was originally called Polo was formed in 1621 due to religious separation movements from parishes of Meycauayan (Catanghalan). Polo has been occupied twice by foreign armies other than colonial powers Spain and United States: first during the Seven Years' War by the British and by the Japanese during the Second World War. In 1960, President Diosdado Macapagal ordered the creation of the municipality of Valenzuela carved from few territories of Polo and is independent from the provincial government of Bulacan. However in 1963, another law was issued ordering the reversal of the previous edict and reunifying the towns of Polo and Valenzuela under the single name of Valenzuela. In 1975, Valenzuela was named as an independent municipality from the government of Bulacan and incorporated under the administration of Metropolitan Manila Authority. On 14 February 1998, President Fidel V. Ramos signed Republic Act 8526, or the Valenzuela City Charter, which elevated the status of Valenzuela as a highly urbanized, chartered city.

Under the Local Government Code of 1991, Valenzuela has a similar government system to other chartered cities of the Philippines. It is governed by a city mayor and vice-mayor elected through popular vote. The city is divided into two congressional districts and each is represented by a congressional district representative at the Philippine Congress. The vice-mayor heads the 12-manned city council: each district elects six councilors. The current mayor is Rexlon T. Gatchalian.

There is no known tourist spot in the city except for the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, the Philippine apostolate to the Our Lady of Fatima of Portugal. Valenzuela is traversed by two major roads in the country: MacArthur Highway and North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), with NLEx being connected to Circumferential Road 5 at segments 8.1 and 9. Major transportation modes include buses and jeepneys that founded terminals at the northern points of the city.

Owing to the cross migration of people across the country and its location as the northernmost point of Metro Manila, Valenzuela has developed into a well-mixed, multicultural metropolis. A former agricultural rural area, Valenzuela has grown into a major economic and industrial center of the Philippines when a large number of industries relocated to the central parts of the city.[20]

Toponymy[edit]

Valenzuela, in Spanish is a diminutive form of Valencia, Spain which means "little Valencia".[21] The name Valenzuela is also the surname of Pío Valenzuela, a Tagalog physician who was one of the leaders of Katipunan. He was regarded as a member of the Katipunan triumvirate that started the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonial authorities in 1896. He also served as the provisional chairman for the Katipunan.[22][23]

Originally, Valenzuela was called Polo. The name Polo was derived from the Tagalog term pulô, which means island, even though the area was not an island. The original town of Polo was surrounded by the rivers from the north and Tullahan River on the south. Hence, the enclosed land was thought to be an island and early townsmen regarded the place as Pulô which later evolved into Polo done by hispanicization of the word.

Today, the term Polo only applies to the barangay of Polo, the birthplace of Dr. Pio Valenzuela himself, which is found in the city's first congressional district.

History[edit]

Spanish era[edit]

For hundreds of years, present-day Valenzuela, Obando and Novaliches (now in Quezon City) were parts of Bulacan. Areas now covered by Valenzuela included a Spanish friar's hacienda, small political settlements and a Spanish garrison. These areas were known as Polo. The region was bounded by the Tullahan River on the south and streams of branching Río Grande de Pampanga on some areas.

Philippine historians Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson tell of a battle in Bangkusay, Tondo on June 3, 1571 that was declared by Maynila king Rajah Sulayman.[24] against the Spanish conquering forces of Miguel López de Legazpi. The Spanish troops were led by Legazpi's nephew, Martín de Goiti. Sulayman's troops were eventually defeated, with Sulayman himself getting killed.[24] The destruction of Sulayman's army and an alliance with Rajah Lakandula allowed the Spaniards to establish power throughout the city and in neighboring towns.[25] Legazpi formally established a settlement on Maynila on June 24, 1571.[26] According to Martínez de Zuñiga, a Spanish missionary of Augustinian order, Maynila was a vast region enclosed by the towns of Polo, Tambobong (now Malabon City), and mountains of San Mateo in Morong. The Valenzuela region was formally merged with the Bulacan town of Catanghalan.[26]

In 1587, the Tagalog cabeza de barangay of Catanghalan Tassi Bassi joined the chieftain of Tondo Magat Salamat in planning an insurrection against Spanish colonizers in Maynila.[27] The rebels were blood-related noblemen or maharlikas of Maynila including Juan Banal, another Tondo chief and Salamat’s brother-in-law; Gerónimo Basi and Gabriel Tuambacar, brothers of Agustín de Legazpi; Pedro Balinguit, the chief of Pandacan and other chiefs of Tondo. The "revolution", however, was foiled by its discovery by Spanish authorities.[28]

San Roque Church in barangay Mabolo with many parishioners attending a day mass.
San Roque Church in barangay Mabolo.

When Manila became an archdiocese on August 14, 1595 based on Pope Gregory XIII's Papal order, the regular friars who had already established permanent churches in Catanghalan decided that the attached sitio of Polo be separated from the town and have its own church to better cater to its increasing population's spiritual needs. Through successive efforts of Franciscan Fray Juan Taranco and Don Juan Monsod, sitio Polo was successfully separated from Catanghalan on November 12, 1623, the feast day of the town's new patron, San Diego de Alcala. Thus, the first cabeza de barangay of the new town of Polo was Monsod while Taranco run the parish which would become the present-day San Diego de Alcalá parish on a small tavern.[29] The separation was made upon the orders of Governor-General Alonso Fajardo de Entenza when Polo was still under the provincial government of Bulacan. (However, historical records in Errecciones de los Pueblos at the Philippine National Archives show the first parochial records of Polo has been existing as early as November 7, 1621.)[30] Later, the date of November 12 is adopted as the foundation day of the city.[2][3]

In 1627, construction of a parochial church dedicated to San Diego de Alcala started, under the supervision of Fr. José Valencia, aided by Capitan Juan Tibay. By 1629 the church was complete. In 1852, the church was repaired and remodeled under the direction of Fr. Vicente. The San Diego de Alcala, after the repairs, would be hailed as among the most beautiful churches in the country and would become the envy of other towns. The church was later rededicated to another patron, the Nuestra Senora de la Inmaculada Concepcion. A convent was also built, followed by a decent common house (casa tribunal) that had a rectangular prison cell and a school house made of stone.[31] When Polo was proclaimed independent from direct rule of the provincial government of Bulacan, the small sitio of Obando was separated from Polo and incorporated to Bulacan by the Marquis of Brindisi.[31]

In 1635, the Sangleys in Binondo, Manila and in the neighboring towns staged an insurrection against the Spanish government. In one the skirmishes, the rebels stole the bronze church bells which were modeled after St. Peter's Basilica bells. The looters had to break the massive bells into small pieces to remove it from the belfry.[32]

After the British successfully occupied Manila and surrounding suburbs in 1762–1764 during the Seven Years' War, the colonial government led by Simón de Anda y Salazar fled to Bacolor, Pampanga via Polo. The British followed Anda, at one point staying in sitio Mabolo while waiting for orders from Governor Dawsonne Drake. They explored the nearby communities of Malanday, Wakas, Dalandanan, Pasolo, Rincon and Malinta. The terrified local population fled and sought refuge in the forests of Viente Reales where many of them died of malaria.[33]

The British the proceeded to Malolos, Bulacan where they were ambushed by the stationed Spanish soldiers. Later, the war ended and the British left the archipelago. The local population of Polo returned to their homes by May 12, 1763 after days of reconstruction. Today, May 12 every year is celebrated as the feast of San Roque as well as war memorial to those who died in the Seven Years' War.[33]

In 1856, sitio Novaliches was split from Polo to become an independent town. On June 3, 1865, a strong earthquake destroyed the belfry of San Diego, followed by an epidemic that killed thousands of people.[34]

In 1869, Filipino physician and patriot Pío Valenzuela was born in Polo. He would be later known as one of the key leaders of the Katipunan, which he joined in 1895 at the age of 26. His admission to the society led to the more recruits from Polo, including Gregorio Flamenco, Crispiniano Agustines, Faustino Duque, and Ulpiano Fernández. Fernández held a special role in the Katipunan as printer of Ang Kalayaan newspaper when Valenzuela was the chief editor.[35]

A constituted branch of the Katipunan was established in Polo on February 1, 1896.[36] The town joined other revolutionaries when the Philippine Revolution broke. One of the notable battles in Polo occurred in sitios Bitik and Pasong Balite in Pugad-Baboy, where the locals won under the command of General Tiburcio de León y Gregorio.[37] During the revolution, the Spanish massacred many residents, most of them in Malinta. Suspected revolutionaries were hanged and tortured to death. Many were forced to admit guilt or shout innocent names; others were shot without trial.[38]

American era and Japanese occupation[edit]

Portrait of Filipino physician and revolutionary Pio Valenzuela: the city was named after him.
Valenzuela was named after Pío Valenzuela, a Filipino revolutionary who was born in Polo in 1869.

The Americans imposed military government when they acquire Philippines from Spain as part of the peace treaty of the Spanish-American War. They appointed Dr. Pío Valenzuela as the first president (presidente municipal) of Polo on September 6, 1899. He resigned on February 1901, and an election was held. Later that year, the government proclaimed Rufino Valenzuela, a relative of Pío as the second president and first elected president of the town.

When the Philippine-American War broke out in 1899, the Americans were directed to capture Emilio Aguinaldo who was escaping to Malolos, Bulacan. Polo was one of the towns where Aguinaldo retreated, thus it received heavy casualties on the first stages of the war.[39] On February 22, 1899, General Antonio Luna camped at Polo after an unsuccessful engagement with the American forces in Caloocan.[39][40][41]

The entrance of the Japanese in Polo during the Second World War was met with no resistance. The people during the Japanese time enjoyed prosperity for Polo became a market town. There were more signs of cooperation and social contact among the inhabitants but on the contrary, fear of reprisals from the Japanese predominated. There were too many murders committed. The place became a center of Makapili and spies who troubled the peaceful civilians. The sudden appearance of the Japanese added terror to the place.

The reign of terror climaxed on December 10, 1944. It was a day of mourning for the people of Polo and Obando when the Japanese massacred more than hundred males in both towns. About 1:00 am on this day up to the setting of the sun cries could be heard from the municipal building when males were tortured to death. (This could be the reason why the old church was not restored anymore and was neglected to ruins. Instead, they build new edifice beside the old one decades later.) Mayor Feliciano Ponciano met the same fate when he died on cruel death together with other municipal officials.[42]

When liberation came, the town was partly burned by the approaching the military forces of combined Filipino and American regiments who used flamethrowers. They bombed and shelled big houses in the town not exempting even the more than 300 years old church of San Diego.[42]

The historical old bridge connecting northern and southern areas of the town was destroyed by the Japanese thus separating Polo in two parts. The northern part was at once liberated by joint Filipino and American troops while the southern part, which includes the municipal center poblacion was still under the Japanese banner. The Japanese abandoned the town on February 11, 1945 when the combined troops were able to cross the river and took the town.

Modern history[edit]

Welcome (boundary) arch view from Obando, Bulacan.

Until 1960, what was then called Polo was a town in the Second District of Bulacan. On July 21, 1960, President Diosdado Macapagal signed Executive Order No. 401 which divided Polo into two: Polo and Valenzuela. Polo comprised the northern barangays of Wawang Pulo, Poblacion, Palasan, Arkong Bato, Pariancillo Villa, Balangkas, Mabolo, Coloong, Malanday, Bisig, Tagalag, Rincon, Pasolo, Punturin, Bignay and Dalandanan. Valenzuela, on the other hand, comprised the southern barangays of Karuhatan, Marulas, Malinta, Ugong, Mapulang Lupa, Canumay, Maysan, Parada, Paso de Blas, Bagbaguin and Torres Bugallón (now Gen. T. de Leon).

The division soon proved to be detrimental to economic growth in each town, so Bulacan Second district Representative to the Fifth Congress Rogaciano Mercado and Senator Francisco Soc Rodrigo filed a bill which sought the reunification of the two towns. On 11 September 1963, three years after the division, Macapagal signed Executive Order No. 46 which reunified Valenzuela and Polo, adapting Valenzuela as the name of the resulting town.[43]

In 1967, mayor Ignacio Santiago, Sr. bought lots in Karuhatan in which the new municipal hall would be built. Misinterpretation of property surveys and tax appropriation issues sparked the debate on which barangay did the municipal hall belonged to: Karuhatan or Maysan. To resolve the issue, Santiago ordered the creation of a new barangay which was called Poblacion II, a reference to the old Poblacion barangay.[44]

During the Marcos administration, jurisdiction over Valenzuela was moved from the province of Bulacan to Metro Manila. Metro Manila was then headed by First Lady Imelda Marcos.[45]

The social and political upheavals of the seventies and early eighties failed to dampen the thriving economy of the municipality. It was a golden age in the history and culture of Valenzuela marked by rapid growth among businesses. In 1968, M.H. del Pilar St. was renovated and converted into the M.H. del Pilar Superhighway. In the same year, MacArthur Highway a segment of MacArthur Highway was constructed in Valenzuela. MacArthur Highway connects Manila to northern provinces of the Philippines.[46]

The passage of the Local Government Code in 1991 provided local governments autonomy which has allowed them develop into self-reliant communities. On February 14, 1998, President Fidel V. Ramos signed Republic Act No. 8526, which converted the municipality of Valenzuela into a highly urbanized chartered city. The law also ordered the division of the newly created city into two legislative districts.[17] When the law was ratified on December 30, 1998, Valenzuela became the 12th city to be admitted in Metro Manila and the 83rd in the Philippines.[47][48]

In 2002, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo proclaimed July 11 every year as Valenzuela Day, which was an official holiday in the city that commemorates the birth date of Pío Valenzuela.[30] However, in 2008, the date of the city's charter day was transferred to February 14. Today, Valenzuela City celebratesValenzuela Day on February 14 and Valenzuela Foundation Day on November 12.[3][49]

Geography[edit]

Satellite image of Valenzuela.

Valenzuela is located at 14°40′58″N 120°58′1″E / 14.68278°N 120.96694°E / 14.68278; 120.96694 and is about 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) north of country's capital, Manila. Manila Bay, the country's top port for trade and industry is located about 16.3 kilometres (10.1 mi) west of the city. Valenzuela is bordered in the north by the town of Obando and the city of Meycauayan in Bulacan, the city of Navotas in the west, Malabon in the south and Quezon City and northern portion of Caloocan in the east.

The highest elevation point is 38 metres (125 ft) above sea level. Having a surface gradient of 0.55% and a gentle slope, hilly landscape is located in the industrial section of the city in Canumay. The average elevation point is 2 metres (6.6 ft) above sea level.[9]

Apart from the political borders set by the law, Valenzuela and Malabon is also separated by the 15-kilometer Tenejeros-Tullahan River or simply Tullahan River.[50] The river obtained its name from tulyaor clam due to the abundance of such shellfish in the area.[51] Tullahan is a part of the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando river system of central Luzon.[52] It is now considered biologically dead[53] and one of the dirtiest river system in the world,[52] though the city government believes the river is not dead.[54] Tullahan riverbanks used to be lined with mangrove trees and rich with freshwater fish and crabs. Children used to play in the river before it was polluted by developing industries near it.[52]

In an effort to save the river, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the local governments of Valenzuela and Malabon signed partnerships with private and non-government organizations to dredge the area.[50][53][54]

Climate[edit]

Valenzuela
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
18
 
30
21
 
 
10
 
31
21
 
 
13
 
32
23
 
 
30
 
34
24
 
 
159
 
34
25
 
 
318
 
32
25
 
 
477
 
31
24
 
 
503
 
31
24
 
 
369
 
31
24
 
 
194
 
31
24
 
 
140
 
31
23
 
 
65
 
30
22
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: BBC Weather (Manila)

Due to its location in Metro Manila, rainfall and climate in Valenzuela is almost similar to the country's capital Manila. The location of Valenzuela in the western side of the Philippines made Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) to classify its weather scheme as Type I. Wind coming from the Pacific Ocean is generally blocked by the Sierra Madre mountain range, several kilometers east of the city.[55]

Its proximity to the equator tends to make its temperature to rise and fall into very small range: from as low as 20 °C (68 °F) to as high as 35 °C (95 °F), although humidity makes these warm to hot temperatures feel much hotter. The Köppen climate system classifies Valenzuela climate as a borderline tropical monsoon (Am) and tropical savanna (Aw) due to its location and precipitation characteristics. This means that the city has two pronounced seasons: dry and wet seasons.

Humidity levels are usually high in the morning especially during June–November which makes it feel warmer. Lowest humidity levels are recorded in the evening during wet season. Discomfort from heat and humidity is extreme during May and June, otherwise it is higher compared to other places in the country. Average sunlight is maximum at 254.25 hours during April and minimum at 113 hours during July, August and September.[56]

Climate data for Valenzuela, Philippines
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29.8
(85.6)
30.7
(87.3)
32.4
(90.3)
33.9
(93)
33.8
(92.8)
32.2
(90)
31.1
(88)
30.6
(87.1)
30.7
(87.3)
31.0
(87.8)
30.6
(87.1)
29.9
(85.8)
31.39
(88.51)
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.6
(78.1)
26.0
(78.8)
27.4
(81.3)
28.9
(84)
29.2
(84.6)
28.3
(82.9)
27.5
(81.5)
27.3
(81.1)
27.3
(81.1)
27.3
(81.1)
26.8
(80.2)
26.0
(78.8)
27.3
(81.13)
Average low °C (°F) 21.4
(70.5)
21.4
(70.5)
22.5
(72.5)
23.9
(75)
24.7
(76.5)
24.5
(76.1)
24.0
(75.2)
24.0
(75.2)
23.9
(75)
23.6
(74.5)
23
(73)
22.2
(72)
23.26
(73.83)
Precipitation mm (inches) 18
(0.71)
10
(0.39)
13
(0.51)
30
(1.18)
159
(6.26)
318
(12.52)
477
(18.78)
503
(19.8)
369
(14.53)
194
(7.64)
140
(5.51)
65
(2.56)
2,296
(90.39)
Source: en.climate-data.org[57]

Ecology[edit]

The vegetation in Valenzuela was originally covered with grasslands suitable for agriculture. Because of rapid development of industries and economy, land use converts grass covers into cemented roads. However, the government put into efforts of preserving vegetation such as constructing community vegetable gardens and techno-demo farms all over the city. In 2003, these gardens numbered up to two functioning farms.[58]

Flora and fauna in Valenzuela includes the common plants and animals found in Luzon, such as domesticated mammals. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau declared a two-hectare mangrove/swampy area in Villa Encarnacion, barangay Malanday as an ecotourism site.[59] Every year, about 100 species of migratory birds such as Black-crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) and other native birds such as moorhen (Gallinula sp.), swamphen (Porphyrio sp.) and Philippine Duck (Anas luzonica) flock the area. Wooden view decks are built to facilitate spectators, enthusiasts and visitors while having bird watching and counting activities.[60]

In 2007, ordinary fishing ponds in Tagalag and Coloong were transformed into fishing spots which attracts anglers every year for a prize catch. Fish tournaments are held every year to increase tourism and livelihood in the area.[61]

In 2008, the Supreme Court of the Philippines mandated Regional Trial Court branch 171 as an environmental court handling all environment cases in Valenzuela.[62] Thomas Hodge-Smith noted in 1939 that Valenzuela is rich of black tektites occurring in spheroidal and cylindrical shapes and are free of bubbles.[63]

Government and politics[edit]

First district
First (left) and second(right) legislative districts of Valenzuela.
Valenzuela City hall complex in barangay Malinta.

Like other cities in the Philippines, Valenzuela is governed by a mayor and vice mayor who are elected to three-year terms. The mayor is the executive head who leads the city's departments in the execution of city ordinances and in the delivery of public services. The vice mayor heads a legislative council that is composed of 14 members: six councilors from the first district, six councilors from the second district and two ex officio offices: one for the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President, representing the youth sector, and one for the Association of Barangay Chairmen President as the barangay sectoral representative. The council is in charge of creating the city's policies in the form of ordinances and resolutions.[17]

The city government of Valenzuela ranked first in the 2010 Local Governance Performance Management System report of the Department of Interior and Local Government. The assessment was done based on the transparency of local government system among highly urbanized cities in the Philippines, participative and accountability.[64]

The city is also part of the third district of Metro Manila.

City officials[edit]

The incumbent mayor of the city is Rexlon T. Gatchalian, who was the District I Representative to the 14th and 15th Congresses. He is also the elder of the two younger brothers of incumbent District I Representative and former city mayor Sherwin T. Gatchalian, the other one being Weslie T. Gatchalian, Alay Buhay party list representative.

The incumbent vice mayor is Eric M. Martinez, first elected in 2007 and is now on his last term.

Representatives, officials and members of the city council
Designation First district Second district
Representatives Sherwin T. Gatchalian (NPC) Magtanggol T. Gunigundo (Lakas)
Mayor Rexlon T. Gatchalian (NPC)
Vice Mayor Eric M. Martinez (Liberal)
Councilors Marlon Paulo D. Alejandrino (NPC) Rosalie D. Esteban (Lakas)
Corazon A. Cortez (NPC) Kimberly Ann D. Galang (NPC)
Jennifer P. Esplana (NPC) Lorena C. Natividad-Borja (NPC)
Antonio R. Espiritu (NPC) Lailanie P. Nolasco (NPC)
Rovin Andrew M. Feliciano (Liberal) Crissha Charee M. Pineda (NPC)
Marcelino G. Morelos (Lakas) Kristian Rome T. Sy (UNA)
ABC President Ramon L. Encarnacion (Dalandanan)
SK President Cristina Marie Feliciano (Arkong Bato)

Districts and barangays[edit]

Political map of Valenzuela

Valenzuela is composed of 33 barangays, the smallest administrative unit in the city. A barangay is equivalent to American village and British ward, and is headed by the barangay captain (punong barangay) and his council (kagawad) duly elected by the residents. In legislative level, Valenzuela is divided into two congressional districts. Legislative district one contains 24 barangays in the northern half of the city, while legislative district two groups the 9 barangays in the southern portion of the city.

Unlike barangays, legislative districts have no political leader, but is represented by Congressional Representatives in the lower house of Philippine Congress.

District 1

District 2

  • Gen. T. de Leon
  • Karuhatan
  • Bagbaguin
  • Mapulang Lupa
  • Marulas
  • Maysan
  • Parada
  • Paso de Blas
  • Ugong

In terms of land area, the three largest barangays are Gen. T. de Leon (366.90 km2), Ugong (307.2 km2), and Malanday(295.60 km2), while the smallest barangays are Polo (5.2 km2), Pariancillo Villa (5 km2), and Poblacion (3.40 km2).

Court system[edit]

The Supreme Court of the Philippines recognizes five regional trial courts and two metropolitan trial courts within Valenzuela that have an over-all jurisdiction in the populace of the city.

Regional Trial Courts[65][66]

Metropolitan Trial Courts[68]

  • MTC Branch 081
  • MTC Branch 082

Police[edit]

The Valenzuela City Police Station is one of the four city police stations in the Northern Police District under the jurisdiction of the Nation Capital Region Police office.[69] Today, there are 415 police officers working for the VCPS, which puts the police-residents ratio in the city at 1:1,6000.[70] The VCPS is currently headed by the its Chief of Police, Police Superintendent Rhoderick Armamento.

In 2007, the Valenzuela City Peace and Order Council, of which the VCPS is a member, was hailed 2nd placer for the Best Peace and Order Council award that was conferred by the Department of Interior and Local Government, the NCRPO, and the Manila Peace and Order Council.[70] In 2012, the VCPS was cited by the NCRPO for having the best Women and Children Protection Desk in the metro.[70]

Wanting to assume a friendlier personality to the community, the VCPS in February 2013 came up with a mascot named SPO1 Valenzuela.[71]

Demographics[edit]

Based on the 2010 census, Valenzuela City has a total population of 575,356, the seventh most populous in the NCR. This is an increase of 18.5 per cent from the 485,433 in 2000, at an annual rate of a 1.7. The 2013 figure also reflect a 69.0 per cent increase from the 340, 227 in 1990.[72]

The five most populous barangays are: Heneral T. de Leon (89,209), Marulas (52,170), Malinta (46,231), Karuhatan (37,748) and Ugong (35,080).[73]

Valenzuela City household population in 2010, on the other hand, is at 574,840.[74] Almost half, 50.2 per cent, are males. Females comprise 49.8 per cent of the population, with a total number of 286, 548. The city has a sex ratio of 101 males for every 100 females, the second highest ratio in the region, after Navotas, which has a sex ratio of 102 males per 100 females.[72] Seven out of ten Valenzuela City residents, 66.7 per cent, belong to the working-age group, or those aged 15 to 64. The remaining 33.3 are aged 0 to below 15 and 65 and above, which are classified as the dependent age group.[74]

Household population by Age Group and Sex,and Sex Ratio by Age Group, City of Valenzuela,2010

By the year 2013, the city is expected to have a population count of 605,379, taking care of the city growth estimate of 1.71% from 2000 to 2010 and is expected to reach 700,000 mark by mid-2022.[10]

Culture[edit]

"Himig Valenzuela"[edit]

"Himig Valenzuela",[75] or "Valenzuela Hymn", is the official song of the city.[76] It is sung during flag ceremonies of private and public schools as well as government institutions along with the Philippine national anthem, "Lupang Hinirang". The hymn was composed by Edwin Ortega which has the primary objective to promote unity, progress and patriotism among the city's citizens.[77]

City ordinance number 18 mandated all citizens of Valenzuela to sing the hymn in all meetings and public occasions.[77]

Landmarks and attractions[edit]

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima houses the replica of the Virgin of Fatima, Portugal for the Philippines which was distributed in 1967.
Façade of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish Church in Malanday.
Entrance to Museo Valenzuela showing Pío Valenzuela's bust.

In English, Arkong Bato means "arch of stone" which was constructed and built by the Americans in 1910 to serve as borders between the provinces of Bulacan (where Valenzuela or Polo, as it was known before, belonged to) and Rizal. (where Malabon used to be part of) The arch is located along M.H. del Pilar Street, which was once the main gateway to North Luzon before the construction of MacArthur Highway and North Luzon Expressway. After Malabon seceded from Rizal and Valenzuela from Bulacan to become part of Metropolitan Manila in 1975, the arch now marked as the boundary between the two towns and their respective barangays, Barangay Santulan in Malabon and Barangay Arkong Bato in Valenzuela.[78][79]

The Harry C. Egbert Memorial is located in Sitio Tangke Street in Malinta that serves as monument and memorial to Brigadier general Harry Clay Egbert, commanding officer of the 22nd Infantry Regiment of the United States who was mortally wounded here in 1899 during the Philippine-American War. Additionally, Egbert also served the US Army during American Civil War and Spanish-American War.[80]

The Museo Valenzuela (English: Valenzuela Museum) was the house where Dr. Pío Valenzuela, in whose memory the old town of Polo was renamed, was born and saw the best years of his life. This same house was burned recently. Valenzuela's historical and cultural landmark, Museo Valenzuela features collections of artifacts depicting the city's past and continuing development. Special focus is given on the life and times of one of its illustrious sons, Dr. Valenzuela. The Museo serves as a repository of Valenzuela's rich heritage and a beacon of light to its people and guests. It is likewise a venue for historical, cultural, and artistic presentations as well as seminars and symposia on national and local issues.[81][82]

The Libingan ng mga Hapon (English: Japanese Cemetery) was built in a 500-square meter lot of the Bureau of Telecommunications compound. The cemetery served thousands of fallen Japanese soldiers during the Philippines Campaign of 1944–45.[78][79]

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima (Tagalog: Pambansang Dambana ng Birhen ng Fatima) is the center of the Fatima apostolate in the country was declared a tourist site in 1982 by the Department of Tourism and a pilgrimage shrine in 2009 by the Diocese of Malolos. It is near the Our Lady of Fatima University.[83] The shrine houses the wooden statue of Our Lady of Fatima, one of the fifty images blessed by Pope Paul VI in 1967 as part of golden celebration of the Marian apparition to three children in Fátima, Portugal.[84] The images were later distributed to churches worldwide, where one of them is intended for the Philippines, however, unclaimed ending up in New Jersey. In 1984, Archbishop of Manila Jaime Cardinal Sin finally claimed the statue and was then transferred under the custody Bahay Maria Foundation, a Philippine-based Marian organization. During People Power Revolution in 1986, it was one of the iconic figures held by revolutionaries to oust the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.[85] On 17 October 1999, the statue was then transferred to the shrine. The feast of Our Lady of Fatima is celebrated every 7 March and 13 May.[84][86][87]

Dr. Pío Valenzuela, who became part of the triumvirate of revolutionary society Katipunan and founder of the organ Ang Kalayaan, lived and died in 1956 at the old Residence of Pío Valenzuela along Velilla Street in Barangay Pariancillo Villa, where a marker by the Valenzuela city government was placed in his honor. The present house was built after the war on the site of the old house which once served as venue for secret meetings and gatherings of the Katipunan. The old house was burned during World War II.[78][79]

The San Diego de Alcala Church and its belfry was built in 1632 by the people of Polo. Residents were taken to forced labor to complete the church after the town gained its independence through Father Juan Taranco and Don Juan Monsod. The belfry and entrance arch, which are over four centuries old, are the only parts of the edifice that remain to this day. The main structure was destroyed by bombs during the Japanese occupation. Residents of barangays Polo and Poblacion celebrate the feast day of San Diego de Alcala on 12 November every year, together with the putong polo festival.[88]

Located at Malanday, the Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish Church,was erected on 17 October 1994 to replace the Sto. Cristo Chapel, and solemnly declared on 24 June 2001. The Church belongs to the Vicariate of St. Didacus of Alcala – Valenzuela City, Roman Catholic Diocese of Malolos.

For commercial establishments, the city has SM Center Valenzuela which is part of the nation's largest mall chains SM Prime Holdings, Inc. which was constructed in a 2.5-hectare tract of land and opened in 2005. The mall is located along MacArthur Highway in barangay Karuhatan that brought progress to the area in its years of existence. In 2011 it has five anchor stores: Ace Hardware, SM Appliance Center, SM Hypermarket, Surplus Shop and Watson's, and two junior anchors: Banco de Oro Universal Bank and National Book Store.[89][90]

The Valenzuela Astrodome is a large multi-purpose, domed sports stadium located in barangay Dalandanan that hosts several sports events, concerts, promotional events, seminars, job fairs, etc.

The Valenzuela City Convention Center is the center of culture of performing arts of Valenzuela. The facility caters various events such as plays, concerts, shows, exhibits and seminars and houses several interest groups among others that help promote the history and culture of the city and then Philippines-at large.[91]

Feasts and holidays[edit]

In 2007, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Republic Act number 9428 which sets February 14 every year as a special non-working holiday to commemorate cityhood of Valenzuela in 1998.[92] On the same hand, November 12 each year is declared by the city government as the city's foundation day, looking back the establishment of then-Polo in 1623. There are misunderstandings before regarding the date of the actual foundation of the town, however, this date was decided by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to be the town's creation, since Spanish colonizers adopted a town's patron saint feast day as its date of creation.[2][3]

Each barangay in Valenzuela have their own feast. Most of them launch celebrations during May and April to honor patron saints and bounty harvest. Every April 26, a santacruzan is performed along with Sta. Cruz Festival in barangay Isla. A santacruzan is a novena procession commemorating St. Helena's mythical finding of the cross. St. Helena was the mother of Constantine the Great. According to legends, 300 years after the death of Christ, at the age of 75, she went to Calvary to conduct a search for the Cross. After some archeological diggings at the site of the Crucifixion, she unearthed three crosses. She tested each one by making a sick servant lie on all three. The cross where the servant recovered was identified as Christ's. St. Helena's feast day falls on 8 August but the anniversary of the finding of the Cross is on 3 May, in the Philippines, this celebration took the form of the Mexican Santa Cruz de Mayo.[93]

May 12 is the date for Mano Po, San Roque Festival in Mabolo. In Valenzuela, San Roque is also known as the patron saint of the unmarried. There are countless tales of single girls who danced and prayed in the procession and who claim to have found their husband during the fiesta. The festival is almost similar to Obando Fertility Rites where romantic hopefuls dance to San Roque requesting to find their true love.[94] Street dancing and procession along the city’s major thoroughfares in commemoration of the feast of San Roque, highlighting the customs and traditional celebration of the festival.[95] This also commemorates townsfolk victory after the British departed the country following the end of Seven Years' War with Spain.[96]

The Feast of San Diego de Alcala is commemorated every November 12 in Poblacion. This is a celebration of the feast of the oldest church in Valenzuela which includes annual boat racing, street dancing and different fabulous activities of the festival.[97] As part of the San Diego de Alcala Feast Day, a unique food festival in the country is celebrated which features the famous putong Polo, the small but classy kakanin which was originally created in the town of Polo.[88] This rice cake was a recipient of Manuel Quezon Presidential Award in 1931 which was cited having its exotic taste and amazingly long shelf-life.[98] The celebration, known as Putong Polo Festival includes a parade featuring artistic creations from the rice cake which showcases creativity among the residents.[99]

Services[edit]

Education[edit]

Welcome arch in barangay Balangkas.
The Valenzuela City Science High School, now known as Valenzuela City School of Mathematics and Science, in 2011.

The city collaborates with other institutions, government or private, to bring quality education among its citizens under the "WIN ang Edukasyon Program (roughly means Education WIN sic Program, WIN is the nickname of the current mayor Sherwin Gatchalian). In 2010, the government, in partnership with the local school board, funded the purchase and construction of computer laboratories in 10 secondary schools all having a net worth of Php 17.7M (or about US$410,000 as of April 2011). This also includes the distribution of Php 1.46M (or about US$34,000 as of April 2011) computers in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela and Valenzuela City Polytechnic College, as part of Department of Education's ICT4E Strategic Plan. In this project, information and communication technology education is extended and expanded among all students.[100] In 2009, the City Engineering Office repaired sidewalks and drainage to assist students especially during the wet season; they also repaired and constructed new buildings and classrooms to some schools in the city.[101] Under the same program, elementary school students received free mathematics and English workbooks published by the government especially designed for Valenzuelanos.[101] The steady increase of 3.4% enrollment rate each year forces the government to construct new buildings and classrooms to meet the target 1:45 teacher-to-student ratio, contrary to the current count of 1:50 ratio alternating in three shifts.[102] WIN ang Edukasyon Program was done in partnership with the Synergeia Foundation, a non-government organization that aims to improve education in local governments in the Philippines.[103]

At the same time, WIN ang Edukasyon Program also spearheads the yearly training of some mathematics and English language teachers assigned to Grades 1 and 2 pupils.[104] The seminar focuses on how to enhance reading skills, language proficiency and mathematics of the students they are teaching through re-acquaintance with various drills and activities. This was done with the efforts of lecturers from Ateneo de Manila University and Bulacan State University using the approach developed by the UP Diliman's College of Education.[105][106]

The government owns Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela and Valenzuela City Polytechnic College that serve as the city's state university and technical school for residents and non-residents respectively. The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela (PLV) or University of the City of Valenzuela, was established in 2002 and is located within the perimeters of the old city hall in barangay Poblacion. In 2009, the city council passed Resolution No. 194 series of 2008 which authorized the government to purchase lots costing PhP 33M (or about US$750,000 as of April 2011) in nearby Children of Mary Immaculate College as part of the university's expansion.[107] Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian assisted the development, which has an over-all cost of PhP 75M (or about US$1.7M as of April 2011) loaned from Development Bank of the Philippines.[108] The newly purchased lots are used to construct an annex building which will house the departments of business administration and accountancy. The Board of Regents expected an increase of enrollment from 800 to 3,000 students in the next few years.[109]

Valenzuela City Polytechnic College (VCPC) was allotted with additional Php 18M (or about US$420,000 as of April 2011) budget in 2009 from the city fund which will be used for expansion and upgrade of the college.[101][110] This includes hiring of new instructors, acquiring new livelihood training program techniques and improving its existing campus in barangay Parada. Currently, the college offers short term technical courses that are still affordable by poor but deserving residents of the city.[111]

There are also privately owned academic institutions including the Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU). OLFU was previously granted by Commission on Higher Education an autonomy, which includes independence from monitoring and evaluation services by the Commission though still entitled by subsidies and other financial grants from the national government whenever possible. The autonomous status of the university was approved on 11 March 2009 which will expire on 30 March 2014.[112]

Healthcare[edit]

Valenzuela provides medical missions and free medical operations in the city. Fully functional health facilities serves in every barangay.

Currently, the Mayor WIN Mobile Health Clinic go around the city to provide general medical procedures and dental services.[113][114] Also conducted are laboratory services including ECG, FBS, Cholesterol, Triglycerides, Urinalysis, CBC, platelet count and pregnancy test.[114] A Mobile Pharmacy is, likewise, deployed to distribute free medicines ranging from kids and adult vitamins to fever, cough and flu medicines, antibiotics, de-worming tablets, among others.[113]

There are numerous hospitals in Valenzuela like the city-run Valenzuela City Emergency Hospital and the Valenzuela City General Hospital, which is under the national government.[115] There are also privately owned hospitals like Calalang General Hospital, Sanctissimo Rosario General Hospital and Fatima University Medical Center, a tertiary private hospital under the administration of Our Lady of Fatima University.[115][116][117][118] The soon-to-rise Valenzuela City West Emergency Hospital and Dialysis Center is set for construction in a 4,000-square meter lot in barangay Dalandanan, adjacent to Valenzuela City Astrodome and Dalandanan National High School. The new hospital is expected to be finished by later half of 2012 which will render adequate healthcare services to underprivileged residents at a minimal fee.[119]

Malinta Bridge, along MacArthur Highway in barangay Malinta, is one of the traffic-congested road in the city.

The city implements VC Cares Program which is designed for individuals who are unable to provide healthcare and basic necessities for themselves or meet special emergency situations of need.[120] While health care service and financial assistance are generally the forms of assistance given, these may be supplemented by other forms of assistance, as well as problem-solving and referral services. Appropriate referrals may be made to other agencies or institutions where complementary services may be obtained.[121]

On 12 July 1976, DOH launched the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI)[122] which covers immunization for BCG (for extrapulmonary tuberculosis), DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus), oral polio vaccine (OPV) (for poliomyelitis), Hepatitis B (for hepatitis infection), and measles (for measles infection). The DOH is assisted by local government units and government hospitals in the implementation and administration of this program. In Valenzuela, 82.5% and 75.3% were reported immunized with three doses of the same vaccine during the period, respectively.[123]

According to the 2002 Commission on Audit, the city reported accomplishment per health center ranging from as low as 42.26% to as high as 206% and vaccine utilization of 33% to 90% compared to normal 46% to 377% per basic requirements.[123] As the Polio Immunization Program is a continuing activity of the Government and deficiencies in program implementation would greatly affect the ability of the government to protect the intended coverage, the team recommended measures to address these concerns for consideration by the city of Valenzuela.

There are swampy areas on Valenzuela and there is a stagnant water in Tullahan River on the south, which make citizens vulnerable to mosquito-linked diseases such as dengue and malaria. Though malaria is not a common case in Valenzuela–the city ranks consistently among top five dengue-infected regions in the Philippines with around 560% chance of recurrence every year.[124][125] In the second quarter of 2008, however, only 500% increase was reported compared to the same period in 2007.[126]

To address this concern, Valenzuela mayor Sherwin Gatchalian reorganized the city's Anti-Dengue Task Force (ADTF).[127] The task force is headed by Gatchalian, as the chairperson with the city health officials and workers as members. ADTF was tasked to, primarily, disseminate information drives on how to prevent and clean mosquito-breeding sites, cleanliness campaign against dengue, and house-to-house inspection.[128] At areas with serious dengue infection, regular fogging and larvae-trapping are applied.[129] According to Health secretary Francisco Duque III, even though the city has high infection rate to dengue, it only have very low fatality rate.[127]

In September 2009, the Department of Health distributed free Olyset anti-dengue nets treated permethrin insecticide to Gen. T. de Leon High School. Over 150 rolls of the nets were given and installed to the windows of the said school, as part of DOH's "Dalaw sa Barangay: Aksyon Kontra Dengue" (Visit Barangay: Action against Dengue) campaign.[130]

Shopping centers and utilities[edit]

Metro Manila and its surrounding areas are divided into two water concessionaires: Maynilad Water (red) and Manila Water (blue), with Valenzuela highlighted.

On 28 October 2005 SM Supercenter Valenzuela was inaugurated.[131] Other shopping sites such as Puregold Valenzuela, the newly renovated South Supermarket and the newly opened Puregold Paso de Blas is also located in the city.[132][133] All these stores compete against each other since most have the same product offerings as diversified groceries. People from the city with more major shopping needs normally head south to cities such as Quezon City and Manila, since they have bigger malls and commercial centers with more diverse trade goods.

Valenzuela's source of electricity is part of the Manila Electric Company or Meralco. Valenzuela's communication system is powered by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Globe Telecom, Bayan Telecommunications Corporation (BayanTel) and others. Cellular network in the Philippines particularly the metropolitan areas is increasing rapidly together with the low cost of calls and text messaging. Such big companies that control the cellular networks in the Philippines and Valenzuela itself are Globe Telecom, Smart Communications (PLDT) and Sun Cellular from Digitel. Cable television access is provided by SkyCable, Home Cable and Global Destiny. Internet Digital Subscriber Line or DSL coverage is provided by PLDT, cable internet is serviced by Sky Cable's ZPDee and Global Destiny. Wireless broadband is provided by Globeliness Broadband and Smart Communications.

Water supply for the city is supplied by the Metropolitan Water Works and Sewerage System (MWSS)' west concessionaire Maynilad Water Services, Inc (MWSI).[134][135] As of 2006, the city has at least 68% water service coverage as determined by the Regulatory Office of the MWSS.[136][137] Each customer receives at least 7 psi water pressure, which means supply can reach for up to two floors for residential use.[138] Maynilad is owned and currently operated by DMCI Holdings, Inc.–Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (DMCI-MPIC).[139]

On 2 June 2010, the Sitero Francisco Memorial National High School in barangay Ugong unveiled its first solar generators, the first time for a school in the Philippines. The six 1-kW photovoltaic solar arrays installed to light nine-classrooms are bought from Wanxiang America Corporation through the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and are part of the solar energy initiative of the city. The arrays were shipped from Illinois, installation were paid by the city government. First district representative Rex Gatchalian and second district councilor Shalani Soledad headed the switching ceremony, that made it the first-ever solar-powered school in the country.[140][141] The solar panels can generate 1 kW to 5 kW of electricity per hour depending on the intensity of sunlight. Unused solar energy is stored in eight deep-cycle batteries which can be used after sunset. The panels also continue to absorb light from the night sky.[142]

Banking[edit]

Almost all of the major commercial banks in the Philippines operate a branch in the city. Major banks operate more than one branch in the city, and at this time, there are 50 banking institutions offer banking services to businesses and residents. Most of these are concentrated in Barangay Karuhatan, Gen. T. De Leon, Marulas and Malinta. A new row of banks are located near the Paso de Blas road by the entrance of the North Expressway's Malinta Exit.

Waste management[edit]

Valenzuela land use
P agriculture.png
Agriculture 5.5402 km2
Fisheries
(ponds, water spots)
3.995 km2
Residential 15.709 km2
Industrial 9.00 km2
Institutional
(schools, government)
1.85 km2
Open space
(roads, railways)
5.00 km2
Total 47.02 km2

According to the 2002 Metro Manila Solid Waste Management Report of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Valenzuela has the highest number of identified recycling companies in the region.[143] It was also said that recycling centers related to plastic materials are relatively higher than other recyclable objects like metals, paper, glass among others.[143] Accordingly, the city government allocates an amount of about 785.70 Philippine pesos (approx. US$18 as of April 2011) for every transportation and collection costs of a ton of waste material. In 2003, the city generated about 307.70 tons of waste every day.[144] In 2001, it was reported by ADB that the city has as high as 25% solid waste management cost recovery rate through service charges on households and other enterprises for operational activities associated with waste collection, treatment and disposal.[145] That same year, the city's proposal to implement a community-based solid waste management project in barangay Mapulang Lupa, was approved by the national government, which involves social mobilization, training of personnel, implementation of segregated collection and establishment of materials recovery facility and windows composting operation among others. The city government was granted a maximum of US$25,000 from Asian Development Bank for the operation of the project.[146]

In 1988, the city opened its first waste disposal facility, the Lingunan Controlled Dumpsite. Every year, the facility collects and processed only about 60% of the entire city's waste with landfilling and recycling services. The dumpsite uses rice hull ash as daily cover and odor control material for the waste collected in the area.[147] Lingunan Controlled Dumpsite also conducted some limited waste segregation and resource recovery operations prior to burial of residual waste.[147] In 2006, the controlled dumpsite was closed per MMDA order in 2003 and was subsequently converted into a sanitary landfill as directed by RA 9003.[144]

In statistics, 60% of the wastes collected in the city are collected, hauled and dumped in controlled dumpsites while 5% are retrieved and recycled and 35% are thrown everywhere in the city. Half of all these wastes are non-biodegradable wastes which include plastics, Styrofoams and rubbers alike, while the remaining are biodegradable wastes which is 70% food and kitchen wastes, 20% plant wastes and 10% animal wastes.[148] In 2002, there are about 30 small and big junkshops that collect recyclable materials and 20 schools that require their students to bring recyclable stuff as school project.[148]

The city spearheaded Metro Manila's implementation of full-pledged waste management program in 1999 when it became the first area in the region to allocate 2.8-hectare land in barangay Marulas, to serve an ecology center and location for the city's waste management program's operation center. Biodegradable wastes in this area are converted to fertilizers.[149] In 2004, the city government funded the repair of 29 garbage trucks and purchase of another 20 trucks that may increase the capacity of Waste Management Office to do full rounds of garbage every week.[150]

Justice management[edit]

In a joint study conducted by the Supreme Court of the Philippines and the United Nations Development Programme in July 2003 assessing inmate and institutional management among selected municipal and city jails in the National Capital Region, it was found that Valenzuela City Jail has a congestion rate of 170%. According to the study, the excess number of inmates in Metro Manila jails resulted into outbreak of various ailments such as psychiatric disorders, pulmonary tubercolosis and skin diseases. The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology recommends the implementation of release programs under applicable laws.[151]

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) of Valenzuela is located along Valenzuela Hall of Justice in barangay Karuhatan.[152] It was formerly located at the old city hall in barangay Maysan which was transferred by mayor Sherwin Gatchalian in 2010 along with other trial courts, the police headquarters and prosecutor's office of the city.[153] That same year, the BJMP launched the Alternative Learning System program, in partnership with the local government and Department of Education (DepEd), as part of the rehabilitation programs to city jail inmates. Successful passers of the program received certification of DepEd as proof of completion of secondary education.[154]

Transportation[edit]

North Luzon Expressway with views going southbound (up), northbound (middle) and from Malinta Exit (down).
Map of Valenzuela with national roads illustrated, showing MacArthur Highway in red.

The KM 30 Mac Arthur Highway Intersection of Circumferential Road 5, or C5, a fork of NLEx, is located in barangay Karuhatan, Valenzuela. The northern side of the exit leads to Central Luzon while the southern will take users to Bonifacio Shrine in Balintawak, Quezon City. On the same hand, KM 28 NLEx Interchange of C5 in barangay Paso de Blas connects Valenzuela Cloverleaf of NLEx to C5 that goes to Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley, Ilocos Region and Cordillera Administrative Region. The cloverleaf is also connected to Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City through Segment 8.1 of NLEx, which also links Manila to NLEx. KM 28 NLEx Interchange is also known as Malinta Exit due to its proximity to barangay Malinta, as well as Tollgate to residents.

Valenzuela is also connected to Bulacan through MacArthur Highway which ends at Bonifacio Monument in Grace Park, Caloocan.

One of the well-known bridge in Valenzuela is the Tullahan bridge in barangay Marulas that connects the city to barangay Potrero in Malabon.[53] Tullahan bridge is part of MacArthur Highway that was built during the Spanish era as a way of transporting vehicles over Tullahan River. In the span of years, it was renovated repeatedly, most recent was in 2008, though defects on the bridge began to appear barely six months after it opened for public use.[155][156][157]

The city is webbed by hundreds of roads where 99.622% of them has a surface type of concrete while the remaining 0.378% were made of dirt.[158] The Department of Public Works and Highways recognizes nine national bridges in Valenzuela, listed below.[159] Other bridges are just minors that connect small cliffs and former landfill areas, like Malinta Bridge in barangay Malinta. City roads has an average road density of 1.155 kilometer of road per 100 square-kilometer of land area. Each road has an average road section of 155 sections and spans 54.267 km.[158]

  1. Canumay Bridge
  2. Lingunan Bridge
  3. Maysan Bridge
  4. Polo Bridge
  5. Santolan Bridge
  6. Tenejeros-Tullahan River Bridge
  7. Torres Bugallon Bridge
  8. Ugong Bridge
  9. Viente Reales Bridge

Bus companies founded terminals in barangay Malanday, northernmost locality of Valenzuela along the border with Bulacan, though there are terminals situated in barangays Dalandanan and Karuhatan as well. This includes Laguna Star Bus, PAMANA Transport Service, Inc., CEM Trans Services and Philippine Corinthian Liner, Inc. among others. These buses are lined with Metro Manila destinations only, usually in Alabang or Baclaran with routes along EDSA. Bus traffic is also dense at barangays Paso de Blas and Bagbaguin due to its proximity to KM 28 NLEx Interchange and bus terminals in Novaliches, Quezon City. Other modes of transportation includes jeepneys (with routes usually from Malanday to Recto, Santa Cruz, Divisoria, Pier 15 South Harbor & T. M. Kalaw in Manila and Grace Park & Monumento in Caloocan and Malinta to Malolos City, Baliuag and Sta. Maria along MacArthur Highway) for general mass transportation, tricycles (or trikes) for small-scale transportation and taxicabs for upper middle classes.

DPWH classifies annual average daily traffic in Valenzuela as very high; majority of roads have traffic flow exceeding 20,000 vehicles per day.

Annual average daily traffic data[160]
Road name KM station Road length (m) Total daily traffic
East Service Road 5,446 14,439
G. Fernando St. 270 8,427
G. Lazaro St. 1,590 8,952
Gen. San Miguel St. 762 20,053
Gen. T. de Leon St. 3,433 14,222
Gov. I. Santiago St. 4,706 25,507
Kaybiga Road 2,136 7,563
MacArthur Highway 7,207 45,502
M.H. del Pilar Street K0013+000 3,526 13,809
Novaliches-San Jose Road K0024+900 4,640 19,636
Polo-Novaliches Road 4,495 18,233
Polo-Pugad Baboy Road 2,605 5,155
West Service Road 1,612 9,866
Total 42,428 211,364
Average 3,263.69 16,259

There are no airports and ports in Valenzuela.

Zip codes[edit]

The Philippine Postal Corporation, to ease their mailing services throughout the city, adopted the use of ZIP codes. ZIP codes for Valenzuela generally begin with the digits "14", except for special cases that receive and send huge volumes of mail.[161]

Zip code zones for Valenzuela.

External relations[edit]

Valenzuela is twinned with the following towns and cities:

Country Place Region / State Date
South Korea South Korea No flag.svg Bucheon[12][13] No flag.svg Gyeonggi 2006
Philippines Philippines No flag.svg Santa Cruz[14] No flag.svg Marinduque 2008
Philippines Philippines No flag.svg Koronadal[15] No flag.svg South Cotabato 2011
Philippines Philippines No flag.svg Calapan[162] No flag.svg Oriental Mindoro 2011
Philippines Philippines No flag.svg Narvacan[163] No flag.svg Ilocos Sur 2012
Philippines Philippines No flag.svg Angeles[164] No flag.svg Pampanga 2012

Friendship links[edit]

Valenzuela has friendship links (with no formal constitution) with the following towns and cities. Agreements usually forged towards industrial, cultural or academic exchanges and understanding.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In rare occasion it is pronounced as [ˌbɐlenzuwelɐʔ], with a glottal stop after /ɐ/ in Filipino/Tagalog languages.
  2. ^ Alternative spelling for Viente Reales is Veinte Reales.

References[edit]

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Books[edit]

External links[edit]

External video
A visit to Valenzuela's Japanese Shrine
Solar-powered school in Valenzuela
Footage of Typhoon Santi
Puregold Valenzuela
Skaters in Valenzuela City