Guv extends deadline for Pag-Ibig loan application

Gwen Garcia
Gwen Garcia(File Photo)

FORTY-FOUR homeowners’ associations that currently occupy 93-1 lots of the Cebu Provincial Government have another 60 days, or until July 2, 2024, to secure a housing loan from Pag-ibig.

In a meeting with Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on Thursday, May 2, 2024, she decided to extend the deadline, which expired on Thursday, to give them more time to process their documents, which included requirements like a tax declaration and tax clearance.

The meeting was attended by Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Garcia, Provincial Legal Officer Donato Villa and Miram Loren, the housing relationship officer at Pag-ibig.

Garcia assured the Pag-ibig representative that the Province would issue certifications, saying the lots in question are owned by the Province and are under one tax declaration.

“Ayaw na mo (Pag-ibig) og pangayo og tax clearance, because how can they? Unsaon pag-issue sa assessors og tax clearance kung wala sila’s tax declaration? Unsa nila pagbayad? Unsaon pag-issue nga wala man kay pangan ma ni sa province,” she said in the meeting that was streamed live on the official social media arm of the Provincial Government.

(Stop requiring them to submit a tax clearance because how can they secure one? How can the assessor issue a tax clearance if there is no tax declaration? How are they supposed to pay? The properties are still under the name of the Province.)

The governor also signed the subdivision plan to determine the division of the lots among the homeowners.

The occupants had voiced out the challenges in trying to secure an approved subdivision plan from the Cebu City Planning and Development Office due to the proximity of the houses and the narrowed roads, which have made the areas fire hazards.

They need to secure an affordable financing loan with Pag-ibig so they can purchase the lots they occupy.

However, homeowners occupying lots 28 square meters or less were urged to directly pay the Provincial Government based on the approved appraisal, as the Pag-ibig does not grant loans for lots 28 square meters or less.

If the homeowners are not financially capable of paying the Capitol directly, it was suggested during the meeting that they negotiate with their next-door neighbor and consolidate their lots for a single loan application.

The homeowners currently occupy a combined 51 hectares of land owned by the Provincial Government spread across Barangays Busay, Luz, Lahug, Mabolo, Apas, Lorega, Kasambagan, Capitol Site, Tejero, Kamputhaw and Kalunasan in Cebu City.

History

Ordinance 93-1, passed by the Provincial Board in 1993, allowed Cebu City residents to own the provincial lots they were occupying after paying the full amortization on the property within two years. A 10-year extension was granted to 93-1 occupants, but the period lapsed in 2004.

Efforts for a land swap between Capitol and City Hall were initiated in 2006 to address the plight of the lot occupants, but the talks did not progress.

In August 2018, the City, under the leadership of former mayor Tomas Osmeña, and the Capitol, under then governor now Vice Gov. Hilario Davide III, inked the deal and signed the Deed of Donation and Acceptance for the lots covered by 93-1.

The agreement stipulates that the Province would give Cebu City 32 hectares spread across 11 barangays, occupied mostly by urban poor settlers; over 1.5 hectares in the Department of Agriculture compound on M. Velez St.; 2,358 square meters on Gorordo Ave. in Barangay Lahug; and 577 square meters on Don Gil Garcia St. in Barangay Capitol Site.

In exchange, the City offered the Province a 2.5-hectare lot at the South Road Properties (SRP); and proposed to turn over a 3.3-hectare block behind SM City Cebu in Barangay Mabolo; a 2.5-hectare botanical garden behind SM Seaside City Cebu at the SRP; nine hectares in Barangay Pulpogan, Consolacion; the 1.37-hectare lot where the septage treatment plant lot stands; and the 2,476-square-meter lot where the city abattoir stands.

The deal also included returning to Capitol the City’s possession of and rights to the zoo.

However, this deal was later voided after the Commission on Audit found that the two local government units entered into a contract without prior consent from state auditors.

In October 2022, Governor Garcia opted to deal directly with the occupants of 93-1 lots to resolve the decades-long issue.

She also tapped the Pag-IBIG for assistance.

Under their arrangement, the Pag-Ibig Fund will give directly to the Capitol the proceeds of the loan of each homeowner, while the latter will pay to Pag-Ibig the monthly amortization of the property.

The residents can only own the lots once they have fully paid the property.

According to a report of the Cebu Provincial Government, as of Oct. 11, 2022, only 1,445 lots have been paid in full, while 1,188 lot have been partially paid. A total of 1,731 lots have not been paid at all. / EHP

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