By Erwin Tulfo
A former neighbor in Ayala Land’s Montgomery Place along E. Rodriguez Ave. in Quezon City won via landslide during last year’s election as president of the homeowners’ association there.
But instead of declaring the poor guy winner, the board, which by the way is reportedly controlled by the Ayalas, disqualified him for being absent during election day. It turned out that the board’s decision had no basis in the by-laws of Montgomery’s homeowners’ manual.
My friend immediately lodged his complaint before the Ayala Property Management Corporation office the next day for the unlawful action of the homeowners’ board.
Just as expected, APMC told him they had no business in meddling in the affairs of the homeowners’ association despite the fact they manage the day-to-day operations of the said subdivision—from its security to its upkeep, and the collection of dues.
Understandably desperate, my friend asked me to accompany him to the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board to file a complaint versus the Montgomery homeowners’ board and the APMC.
The HLURB is the country’s primary government agency tasked with providing technical support in matters including, but not limited to: housing regulations, land development and homeowners associations, and settlement of land disputes.
It’s vision states that it is “an institution of professionals exemplifying public service with responsibility, integrity, competence and justice geared towards the attainment of well-planned and sustainable communities through the regulation of land use, housing development and homeowners associations, and the just resolution of disputes.”
It is mandated by Executive Order 648 and Republic Acts 9904 and 8763 to adjudicate “intra and inter-homeowners associations dispute.”
Therefore, it is a regulatory and a quasi-judicial body authorized to review and approve by-laws of every homeowners’ association.
However, after over a year, the HLURB has yet to act on the complaint of my friend. A source within the agency said the housing office has not lifted a finger, like talking to Montgomery’s board, or calling up APMC and informing them about the complaint.
The same source said more than a dozen complaints have been filed before the HLURB against several Ayala properties like Serendra Condominiums, Avida Homes, Woodside Homes, and Montgomery Place over matters from security issues to conduct of tenants or residents, and from excessive monthly dues to upkeep of its units and surroundings. None reportedly have been acted upon so far.
An informant at HLURB claims that not only Ayala Land or Ayala Properties get special treatment from the housing regulatory body but other major developers.
We are calling the attention of Presidential Anti-Corruption Chairman Dante Jimenez. It won’t hurt to look at these allegations against the HLURB for sitting on complaints against the major developers, does it Mr. Chairman?