VICE President Jejomar Binay yesterday did not push through with the distribution of “contracts to sell” government lands occupied by squatters in Barangay Sambag 2, Cebu City. Instead, he wants to distribute the land titles to the 807 beneficiaries when he returns.

Binay was supposed to distribute the contracts to the first batch of beneficiaries, numbering 80.

According to the terms of the contract, beneficiaries will pay a 30-year amortization, starting next month. But the lots will not be transferred to their names until they make full payment.

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Mortgage agreement

“If we enter into a `contract to sell,’ we (government) remain the owner of the property. Whereas, if we distribute a deed of absolute sale with mortgage in our (government) favor, you are now owners of the property and it will appear that you just mortgaged your property to us,” he said.

Binay’s idea was applauded by beneficiaries, some of whom are members of the Kalubihan Riverside Neighborhood Association, Sitio Kawayan Sambag 2 Neighborhood Association and the Sadpa-Maharlika-Sto. Niño Community Association Inc.

Former north district congressman Raul del Mar said the beneficiaries waited 12 years to get the chance to own the lots they occupy. The lots were originally owned by the Department of Health.

Del Mar said he, former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña, then vice mayor Michael Rama and the residents’ associations worked together with the National Housing Authority to acquire the property and sell it to the beneficiaries.