Manila Seedling bank tenants allowed to continue doing business on disputed landBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines–The Quezon City government has assured the tenants of the disputed property occupied by the Manila Seedling Bank Foundation Inc. that they will be allowed to do business in the area.
Mayor Herbert Bautista in a statement said he met with the tenants on Monday, during which he allayed the fears of the affected stall owners.
City Hall last week seized the prime property on the corner of Edsa and Quezon Avenue–which has been the home of MSBFI for the last 35 years–and locked out its tenants and their workers.
MSBFI president Lucio Bertol earlier said the takeover has affected 80 workers and 36 store owners, who make a living by from seedlings of trees, a wide variety of flora, including ornamental, food and exotic plants as well as gardening and landscaping materials.
The disputed property is owned by the National Housing Authority but City Hall seized it, citing MSBFI’s nonpayment of more than P57 million in real property taxes.
During Monday’s dialogue with Bautista, the tenants were led by Efren Chatto, vice chairman of the World Flower Council.
Bautista said the tenants will be allowed to continue their respective businesses in the area as long as all terms and conditions prescribed by the city government are complied with.
The mayor, for starters, has required the tenants to submit all their lease and sublease contracts so that the city government can determine the actual number of stall holders legally occupying the property and rent they paid to MSBFI prior to the takeover.
Bautista said a memorandum of understanding is being drafted to formalize the agreement between the city government and the tenants for the continued use of the property. The city government is also considering inviting NHA representatives in the succeeding dialogues with tenants.