New San Jose Builders selling condos without gov't permit
By: Likha Cuevas-Miel, InterAksyon.com
September 9, 2013 6:20 AM
InterAksyon.com means BUSINESS
MANILA - New San Jose Builders is selling condominium units without a license and certificate of registration from the government, according to people who bought units in a yet to be built tower.
Lily (not her real name) said she has already paid P200,000 for the amortization of a studio unit in Victoria Station 2, which should rise beside the GMA-Kamuning MRT station along EDSA. She bought the unit middle of last year and was promised it would be turned over to her by 2014.
She called up InterAksyon.com after discovering that the 40-storey project remains a barren lot with no sign of construction activities.
"Hukay lang sya. Pano sya matu-turn-over sa akin eh malaking hukay lang sya?" she said.
Lily could not reveal her real name because she fears she would be unable to get a refund if New San Jose Builders, which is owned by Jose L. Acuzar, retaliates after she raised the matter in the media.
Lily asked the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) about New San Jose Builders and was dismayed to learn that the developer has no license to sell Victoria Station 2 nor does it have a certificate of registration with the government agency that oversees condo and subdivision projects. The real estate firm has been selling Victoria 2 since 2010 and continues to peddle the units to unsuspecting buyers.
Lily said she was told that it was "kalakaran" within the company to continue to market these condo units without the governement requirements since "these are in the process of being obtained anyway." The company even told her that other listed property firms are doing the same.
As to when the project will start construction, a company representative supposedly told her that the building cannot begin New San Jose Buildes pays P30 million to obtain the license from HLURB.
InterAksyon.com sought an interview with New San Jose Builders president Cesar Sanqui but his secretary said she was ordered to tell media that, "nag-uusap na kami with HLURB, ongoing ang proseso.”
HLURB Commissioner Antonio Bernardo did not reply to InterAksyon.com's queries, and instead referred HLURB-Expanded National Capital Region Field Office director M. Tan II, who has yet to reply as this article went online.
In HLURB's website, New San Jose Builders has been issued a cease and desist order on May 4, 2010 due to the lack of registration and license to sell.
Erwin Pascual told InterAksyon.com that he has filed his refund claim with New San Jose Builders on September 5 but was told it was still subject to approval.
A seaman by profession, Pascual has paid a total of P160,000 for two P2.13-million penthouse units measuring 27.21 square meters, as well as for a combined-studio unit, with each unit measuring P25 square meters and costing P1.8 million. He bought the units last April.
"Yung iba nga pong buyers na nakausap ko, sinabihan ng New San Jose Builders na hindi mabibigyan ng cash, property [in exchange] na lang daw sa ibang projects," he said.
When he sought HLURB’s help, Pascual was told that it may take a year before his complaint would bear fruit.
Arnell Angelo Monillas, a teacher, said he bought a 33-square meter unit in another New San Jose Builders project in Malate called Victoria de Manila. He is in the same boat as Pascual, whom he met in the developer’s office to file their refunds. Monillas said he has already shelled out P80,000 for the P2-million unit he bought in October last year.
"Hanggang ngayon, hukay pa rin sya. Walang din syang license to sell, sabi sa akin," he told InterAksyon.
These are some of the many stories posted in various online forums against New San Jose Builders.
Under Section 23 of Presidential Decree No. 957 or the Subdivision and Condominium Buyers Protective Decree, a buyer can demand a refund of the total amount paid, with amortization interest and excluding reservation fee, if the project is not developed according to approved plans and within the time limit for development.
The buyer must inform the owner or developer of his or her decision to suspend payments for the home purchase.
Claro Cordero, Jones Lang LaSalle Philippines head of research, consultancy and valuation, said it is not industry practice to sell housing units without any license, "even if they are already in the process of obtaining one."
"This may hit those small developers and put a doubt on the public's mind as to their capacity or expertise to build big projects like these," he said.
"It's just a matter of choosing carefully your home-builder," he added.