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HGC invites informal settlers to join public bids

(The Philippine Star) Updated October 13, 2011 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Home Guaranty Corp. (HGC) offers some 8,800 lots and 3,000 house and lots for public bidding. HGC acquired these assets as a result of guaranty call payments on defaulted loans extended by banks for public housing projects.

HGC president Manuel R. Sanchez said former owners, illegal occupants and informal settlers are all encouraged to bid along with the public at large, on any of the offered properties.

Said assets have been slated for disposition as early as 2010, but plans had to be put on hold pending the conclusion of an asset management review.

HGC’s invitation was made following the recommendations presented by Reyes, Tacandong and Co. during a meeting with HGC management last week. The asset management consultant was engaged by HGC to conduct a thorough review of its assets, recommend means for preserving and enhancing their value and determine the best mode for their disposition.

Also subjected to the review were HGC’s “big ticket” accounts, including the eight-hectare Old Bilibid Compound in Sta. Cruz, Manila where the city jail, the Central Market and the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital are located; the almost 23-hectare National Government Center along Commonwealth Ave. in Quezon City and the Paco Mall and Philippine National Railway (PNR) air rights, from the junction of Samson Road in Caloocan to Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. in Makati.

At present, HGC properties are occupied by some 15,000 illegal settlers, most of which are in the “big ticket” assets. However, 4,500 of these 15,000 settlers are inmates in the Manila City Jail, together with some 5,000 individuals who have illegally settled in the Old Bilibid Compound.

Another 5,000 occupy the National Government Center property.

Given the high commercial value of these properties, the illegal occupants will have to be relocated. Only 400 are former owners of HGC’s development and retail assets. Out of this 400 former owners, HGC has already extended offers to regularize the occupants of 140 units.

Sanchez stressed that HGC’s move to invite former owners and illegal occupants to the public bidding is in line with plans for their regularization and for providing them with easier, affordable and legal means for home ownership. HGC also offers its “big ticket” assets for negotiated sale with interested parties, as part of its thrust for recovering exposures and commitment to urban renewal.

   All these measures are in the with Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairman Jejomar C. Binay’s national shelter security agenda of providing low cost and affordable housing to the poor and deserving Filipinos.

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