When President Marcos Jr. was forming his C\cabinet and named Jose Acuzar Jr. of the well-known Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar Resort in Bataan as Secretary of Human Settlements and Urban Development, I brought up a big anomaly created when the Cory Administration withdrew the lease for 142 homeowners of Ecology Village in retaliation against the Marcos Martial law regime which created the village bordering the gated San Lorenzo Village and Dasmarinas Village in Makati.
In 1980 when Martial Law was still in effect, then Metro Manila governor and minister of the DHSUD (Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development) First Lady Imelda R. Marcos had a row of townhouses built along the National Power Corp power line bordering San Lorenzo Village and Dasmarinas Village, both in Makati City.
Santa Banana, when Martial Law was lifted and upon the exile of then strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., then Senator Joker Arroyo, who was the executive secretary of the late President Aquino, terminated the lease given to the homeowners of Ecology Village, which in effect made all the homeowners technically informal settlers or squatters occupying government land!
This in effect made all the homeowners of Ecology Village unable to sell their units, despite the fact that Ecology homeowners had a certificate of ownership granted by the Technology Research Center, an agency under the DHSUD.
My gulay, this was done obviously by the Aquino administration in retaliation to Martial Law.
I brought this anomaly up created by the vengeful government of the late Cory Aquino administration in retaliation to the Martial Law regime of FEM despite the fact that, under the law, all the homeowners of Ecology Village were owners in good faith and had vested rights to the units they bought from the government.
I had hoped that with President Marcos Jr.’s regime and with Acuzar as the DHSUD secretary, this anomaly would be set right, in fairness and in justice to Ecology Village homeowners.
Once again, I am appealing both to BBM and his DHSUD secretary to set things right.
I am passionate about this since I am one of the homeowners of Ecology Village, especially at my age of 96, when I want to sell the unit I bought from the government.
The issue involving the Mile Long project, then also leased by the Prietos and the Rufinos, also occupying the Napocor power line extending from Pasay Road to the road beside the Makati Medical Center, where the Rufinos and the Prietos built buildings on which they rented out to people, is of course another issue.
Then President Duterte had the lease of the Prietos and the Rufinos cancelled for alleged non-payment of taxes.
But, in the case of Ecology Village, it’s a matter of fairness and justice.
While our leases to the property on which our units are on have been terminated, the city government of Makati continues to bill us for property taxes on our units.
On the P100-billion unsolicited offer
Despite the unsolicited offer of no less than six of the biggest conglomerates to rehabilitate and modernize the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the biggest gateway to the Philippines, the Department Of Transportation is still open for proposals for the rehab of NAIA.
This is a consortium composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holding Corp., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Alliance Global-Infracorp Development Inc., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Infrastructure Holdings Corp and Global Infrastructure Partners.
According to the DOTr Secretary, the department is still formulating the terms of Reference or TOR which could be finished by June.
The DOTr is in partnership with the Asian Development Bank.
The unsolicited bid of the six biggest conglomerates is to upgrade the international gateway.
It seeks to double NAIA’s passenger capacity to 62.5 million per annum by 2028 from the 31 million at present.
In partnership with the Asian Development Bank, the DOTr expects to be ready with the TPR or Terms of Reference by June, where the ADB would be making recommendations.
There have been many complaints over the airport’s operational inefficiencies, thus the push to rehabilitate NAIA.
The international gateway experienced a power outage last May 1 for a few hours, affecting several flights and passengers.
To meet the immediate power needs of the airport, generator sets were turned on, but only for mission-critical facilities such as security x-rays and baggage carousels.
Some areas did not have lights and air conditioning because the terminal’s generators do not have enough capacity to power the entire facility.
Airline delays and cancellations
On the unsolicited offer costing P100-billion, I read a small item in the newspaper about US President Joe Biden urging the airlines to compensate air travelers whenever there is a delay or cancellation of air flights.
The report did not say which airline he was referring to, but, as a lawyer, I know that when an air traveler buys tickets from an airline, it’s a carrier’s contract between the air traveler and the airline where the airline guarantees the passenger that the airline leaves at that exact time indicated in the ticket and arrives according to the ticket also on time.
Thus, the comment of the US President that airlines should pay air travelers in delays and cancellations of air flights brings up compensation by the airlines.
My wife and I had traveled around the world many times and encountered delays and cancellations of flights.
On many occasions, my wife and I missed many appointments.
Santa Banana, on other occasions, a flight delay or cancellation could mean life and death for those needing medical attention on time.
For some businessmen, it could mean millions of dollars or pesos lost in case of flight delays and cancellations.
My gulay, but how do you make airlines pay?
The problem of flight delays and cancellations caused when airspace systems do not work or when government systems fail to function is another thing.
Santa Banana, like last Jan. 1 when no less than 600 passengers were stranded because airspace systems failed to work, who will pay for flight cancellations?
Last May 1, on Labor Day, NAIA Terminal 3 experienced a power outage for a few hours and there were delays and cancellations of flights.
Again, who will compensate air travelers?
This is a question that only the airlines and IATA or the International Airline Transport Association can answer.
Of course, my gulay, if airline delays and cancellations are caused by fortuitous events or force majeure, there’s nothing you can do about it.