HGC says Reghis Romero settlement offer is ‘unacceptable’
State-owned Home Guaranty Corp. is unlikely to enter a compromise agreement with the P5-billion offer of the private contractor of the controversial Smokey Mountain Development and Reclamation (SMDR) project
Cora Corpuz, officer-in-charge of HGC said the “P5 billion [offer] is definitely low and is not acceptable” when asked if the government is considering to accept the offer made by Reghis Romero 2nd to settle the case over the SMDR project.
In July 2015, Romero offered P5 billion to reimburse the state-owned firm’s exposure to SMDRP.
During last week’s hearing at Congress, some members of the House subcommittee on housing urged HGC to accept a comprise agreement between the government and R-II Builders, the private contractor of SMDRP.
HGC lawyer Dexter Licuanan earlier stressed the need to settle the two-decade dispute but warned Romero’s group to make a just offer. Licuanan was vocal in rejecting the offer of R2 Builders during the House hearing.
Corpuz, however, said HGC is open for a settlement “as long as this will be for the best interest of HGC and the government.”
Former HGC President Manuel Sanchez earlier said the area is worth P9.5 billion, which is way above Romero’s proposed amount to settle the dispute between the two entities.
“Romero also wants mutual withdrawal of cases. If we do that, the claims of the government will be lost forever. We have to make sure that the settlement would be fair and proper,” Sanchez said.
To recall R-II Builders and the National Housing Authority (NHA) formed a joint venture for the development of Smokey Mountain,wherein R-II Builders was supposed to finance all aspects of development — including the construction of 2,992 temporary housing and 3,520 units of medium-rise housing and the development of industrial/commercial site within Smokey Mountain area.
But the government and R-II Builders have had disagreements after the latter failed to finance the Smokey Mountain project.
HGC is a government-owned-and-controlled-corporation (GOCC) mandated by law (Republic Act 8763) to promote sustainable home ownership by providing risk coverage or guarantees and tax/fiscal incentives to banks and financial institutions/investors granting housing development loans / credits, and home financing.