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Delinquent QC lot owners get reprieve

2,890 poor families given more time to pay off outstanding housing loans
/ 12:06 AM December 25, 2014

Since the death of her sister and father, Helen Bibona has stopped paying for a lot they acquired under the Quezon City government’s direct sale program.

“[When they died], we did not have enough money because we had to prioritize other expenses such as [payment for] the funerals,” Bibona said.

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But thanks to an ordinance approved in October by Mayor Herbert Bautista, the 40-year-old mother of four has been given a chance to pay off what she owes and finally become a homeowner.

Bibona is one of 4,000 urban poor families who will benefit from an agreement on the restructuring of their home loans with the city government. Under the new arrangement, they can pay off their outstanding balance within 20 years instead of the previous 10 years.

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In a dialogue with urban poor families earlier this month, Councilor Victor Ferrer said that the extension would give beneficiaries of Samahang Magkakapitbahay, Inc. of Barangay (village) San Jose more time to settle their unpaid monthly amortization at lower monthly installments.

Bibona, who has a balance of nearly 20,000, will have to pay P1,000 every year or P83 per month for two decades for her 47-sq-m lot. in Barangay San Jose, Quezon City. The property is priced at P115,000.

The ordinance was proposed because only 25 percent of the 4,000 urban poor families who signed the “contract to sell” with the city government five years ago have been able to pay their loans in full.

The remaining 75 percent or 2,890 families still have unpaid monthly dues, Ferrer said.

The head of the city’s Housing and Community Development and Resettlement Department (HCDRD, formerly known as the Urban Poor Affairs Office) Ramon Asprer urged the families not to waste the opportunity to own their own land at a very low price.

He was backed up by Ferrer who told the urban poor families who attended the dialogue: “Let’s make sacrifices for the future of our children and grandchildren who will inherit the land title.”

“Don’t drink, gamble or smoke too much so you can save money,” he said.

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According to Ferrer, Barangay San Jose is a prime location, situated near A. Bonifacio Avenue in Quezon City.

If the beneficiaries are unable to pay their monthly amortization, the land will be auctioned off by the city government, Ferrer added.

Mina Ocampo of the HCDRD said that there would be a new contract of agreement between the city government and the beneficiaries.

Those interested can start applying for inclusion in the program as the HCDRD is still waiting for the approval of the guidelines in the implementation of the ordinance, Ocampo added.

The ordinance which was signed on Oct. 22 will apply only to existing urban poor housing projects under the direct sale program of the Quezon City government.

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TAGS: land disputes, Metro, News, Quezon City, urban poor
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