PHILIPPINE REAL ESTATE and RELATED NEWS in and around the country . . .

Free Patent bill OK’d

December 31, 2009 07:04 PM Thursday [ ]

By: Bernadette E. Tamayo

CONGRESS has ratified the Free Patent bill which would allow 39 million Filipinos, mostly low-and-middle income individuals, to legally obtain title to the lands they have been possessing for at least 10 years now.

Sen. Richard Gordon, author of Senate Bill 3429 or an Act Reforming the Administrative Titling Process, said the measure will ease the requirements and procedures in the titling of residential and commercial land.

“Many landowners, despite possession of their land, have only rights or tax declaration due to the high cost, long delay and inconvenient procedures of judicial titling,” he said.

Under the present law, residential and commercial landholders can acquire a title only through the court, which would entail hiring of a lawyer, paying for a survey, securing testimonies from neighbors, clearances from the barangay and filing of a court petition, among others.

Gordon said this situation, where many land parcels remain untitled, make for bad economics because landowners cannot secure loans using their property for business and home improvement.

“Without a title, landowners will not be secure in their possession, becoming victims of illegally issued land titles by criminal syndicates,” he said, adding that the Chamber of Thrift Banks and the Makati Business Club have been anticipating the enactment of the Free Patent Act which is seen to benefit the economy.

“This measure is expected to stimulate bank lending with better collateral, allowing homeowners’ access to credit in banking institutions,” said Pascual Garcia III, president of CTB, in his letter to Gordon.

Alberto Lim, MBC executive director, said titled land has more value than untitled land. This will increase the local government’s tax base.

“Aside from more business tax, there will also be more legitimate property transactions so the take from transfer fees, documentary stamps, and capital gains taxes will increase,” he said.


SM Land subscribes to P4.8-billion new shares of SM Development Corp

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated December 31, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - SM Land Inc. is subscribing to P4.81 billion worth of new shares of SM Development Corp. (SMDC), the residential property firm of the family of retail tycoon Henry Sy.

Documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) show that SM Land is subscribing to 887.41 million SMDC shares which will come from the company’s proposed stock rights offering. The shares will be sold at P3.50 each.

SM Land, which owns 64.58 percent of the outstanding shares of SMDC, will subscribe to its pre-emptive right and any common shares which remain unsubscribed from the rights offering under the same terms and conditions of the issue.

SMDC is raising P4.795 billion from a pre-emptive rights offering involving 1.37 billion shares.

Shareholders can buy one rights share for every three shares held as of Dec. 7, 2009 at P3.50 apiece.

The rights offering is scheduled to run from Jan. 4 to 8 while the listing of the shares has been tentatively set on Jan. 18.

Proceeds from the issue will be used for landbanking and for other general corporate purposes.

BDO Capital and Investment Corp., also owned by Sy, will serve as underwriter for the rights issue.

SMDC currently has seven on-going projects – the fifth cluster of Chateau Elysee (a six-cluster mid-rise condominium project in Parañaque City) which is 88 percent complete; Berkeley Residences in Katipunan Road, across Miriam College and Grass Residences beside SM City North EDSA (with the first tower 47 percent complete); Sea Residences near the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City and Field Residences in Sucat, Parañaque.

Other projects slated for launch this year are Princeton Residences (a 37-storey condominium building located in 2,400 square meter property along Gilmore St., Quezon City), Sun Residences beside Welcome Rotonda in Quezon City, Jazz Residences along Jupiter St., Light Residences in Mandaluyong City and Wind Residences in Tagaytay City.

SMDC has earmarked P7.2 billion for capital expenditures this year or 40 percent higher than what is spent in 2008. Around 80 percent of the capital budget will be sourced from internally generated funds while the remaining 20 percent will come from borrowings SMDC reported a net income of P1.4 billion in the first nine months of the year, more than 60 times the P23 million recorded the same period a year ago on the back of robust sales and higher completion rates of its various projects.

Consolidated revenues surged 78 percent to P4.1 billion during the period under review, mainly due to the recovery in the financial markets. EBITDA stood at P1.6 billion, translating to an EBITDA margin of 42 percent.


Mandaluyong rides on new building boom

[ ] December 30, 2009

by Gigi Muñoz David

Mandaluyong City is riding on a construction boom unseen in years since the global financial crunch.

Summing up 2009, Mayor Benhur Abalos said at least P42.25 billion in investments has been recorded largely coming from 13 companies and real estate developers.

“Investments are given priority in the city as it generates work to thousands of people, especially for residents,” he said, adding that in 2003 the locality was named “Tiger City” by the Trade Department.

Sycip, Gorres and Velayo’s policy center and the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center at the time commended the city for drawing in investments worth P11.8 billion.

Abalos said the P42-billion inflow came from 13 big companies and real estate developers of high-rise properties across the metropolis.

The clusters are led by SM-Boni Residence, a three-tower, 32-story at the corner of Edsa and Madison Street along with Empire East Land Holdings Inc.’s Pioneer Woodlands, a twin-tower, 32-story, both in Barangay Ilaya.

In neighboring Highway Hills are Grand Central Residences, three-tower, 32-story on Edsa corner Sultan Street; Lancaster Suites Tower 2, 28-story, by Pacific Concord Properties Inc.; and Twin Oaks Place, 42-story, by Greenfield Development Corp. on Shaw Boulevard.

In Wack-Wack are Sonata Tower, by Robinsons Land Development Corp. on San Miguel Avenue; The Address, a 39-story on Wack-Wack Road; St. Francis Shangri-La Plaza 2; and One Shangri-La Place, 60-story, by The Shang Grand Tower Corp.

Addition Hills village has 409 Shaw Tower, 27-story; Plainview boasts Raymond Tower Building, 33-story, on Boni Avenue corner Sikap Street.

Not to be outdone, Buayang Bato has Sunshine 100 City Plaza Pioneer, a four-tower, 28-story, on Pioneer corner Sheridan Street while Ilaya has a dominating Robinsons Cybergate Plaza, a 17-story hotel and office cluster on Edsa near Pioneer Street.

Abalos, who is also president of both Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines and League of Cities of the Philippines, said “the influx of investors in a city is an indication of the confidence of investors in the local government. Despite the size of Mandaluyong in terms of land area, she was able to prove that it is not a hindrance to prosper and develop.”

In 1986, Mandaluyong was making P46 million a year which in a decade peaked at P1.38 billion in 2006 then P1.56 billion in 2007.

After posting P1.67 billion in 2008, the AIM recognized its efforts in bringing in new vigor to the business climate for multi-national corporations, pharmaceuticals, telecommunication companies and call centers.

The institute awarded Mandaluyong the first place in the 2008 Cities of Competitiveness Ranking Project.


Parañaque declares tax holiday

[ ] December 30, 2009

ParaÑaque City Mayor Florencio Bernabe Jr. has declared a tax holiday for real property owners.

He signed Ordinance 09-15 authorizing Jan. 1 to March 31, 2010 as the period for taxpayers to avail of amnesty on surcharges and interests.

Bernabe said the measure cited economic constraints caused by recent calamities had justified the relief.

“Because of the aforementioned recession and the impact of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng on the homes and properties of the residents of the city, their financial difficulties need to be alleviated,” the ordinance stated.

Councilor Florante Romey Jr., one of the authors, said the recession has resulted in increased unemployment rates, business slowdown, reduced economic growth, and loss of income and economic opportunities to many residents.

Covered in the tax relief are properties and additional improvements that have not been declared for assessment purposes by owners and are not in the Assessment Rolls of the city government and those whose real property taxes have remained unpaid in the last five years.

Under the Parañaque Revenue Code, the City Treasurer can collect realty tax due plus surcharges and interests covering a 10-year period.

Instead of computing the 10-year tax due, Romey said a five-year period would be used.

To avail of the tax amnesty, property owners should voluntarily declare their new properties or any of its additional improvements during the tax holiday.

The taxpayers will also be entitled to payment discount provided they settle the assessed tax value without any penalties and surcharges within the three-month period.

Owners of declared real property who have unpaid taxes for the last five years will also be exempted from surcharges and penalties if they settle their delinquency before March 31, 2010.

Property owners who have recently been issued notice of delinquencies by the City Treasurer are not covered by the tax holiday, according to the ordinance. Those who will not take advantage of the amnesty will be assessed for the entire 10-year period. Ferdinand Fabella


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