Houses love built for journalists

This is just a graphic representation, not the actual village envisioned for journalists.


Houses love built for journalists


By BERTENI "TOTO" CATALUÑA CAUSING


            This is a story of how a group is using its small assets to produce a project that is worth at least six times more and at the same time retain the same assets with additional small profit at the end of two years.


            What is the project?


            It is called National Press Club Village, consisting of 48 houses at a piece of lot located right near beside the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and right next the Pulilan Exit in Bulacan.


            How much is the project?


It is about P40,800,000, if each of the 48 units to be built has an average worth of P850,000.


            How much is the capital?


            The National Press Club has P6,000,000 only. 


            How did the Club make it possible?


            Knowing the cash on hand is not enough, it convinced the landowner to pair the about 3,000-square-meter lot with the Club’s money to build homes for the newsmen.  If each square meter costs P1,500, that is conservative for lands beside NLEX, then the contribution of the lot owner to the project is P4,500,000.

            The Press Club arranged with the landowner that the 48 houses shall be built in four phases, with each phase projected to be costing enough for the P6,000,000.

            Further, to remove the cost of development, the Press Club was lucky to have an architect offering his services to do the same without cost to him except for reasonable service fees and salaries of his workers and other attendant contingent costs.

            In short, the capital of P6,000,000 will go to actual cost of building houses only and no more margin for profit for the developer.

            For removing the developer costs, the Club can be assured of building houses that are of minimal cost compared to the usual offered by commercial developers.

            The first phase of 11 units shall then be sold to NPC members on a first-come-first-serve basis.

            The proceeds of the sales of the first-phase houses shall then be used to build the second phase. The system goes on until the four phases are completed and sold.


            Will these units sell to NPC members?


            Yes, easily saleable to them.


          How?


          hose who have ready cash can buy a unit outright.

          Otherwise, they can enjoy the arrangement of the NPC with the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp. (NHMFC), which is commonly called “Pag-Ibig.”

The Pag-Ibig committed to fast-track the processing of the applications for housing loans of NPC members to ensure the release of payments in two weeks.

          Additionally, the requirement of a cash equity from applicants that amounts to at least 10% of the cost of one housing unit equity would most likely be waived or paid for by the NPC.


          How can the NPC be able to answer or waive the cost of equity when the cost is substantive so as not eat up into the P6,000,000?


For those lucky to be awarded, the NPC will stage fund-raisers for the P600,000 needed to answer the equity requirement for all houses of the first phase.


How much would each NPC member pay every month as amortization?


The monthly installment could go down to as low as P3,000 or an average of P5,000. 

However, the amount of installment depends on how old is the applicant.  

By the formula of Pag-Ibig, the maximum number of years that can be allowed is 70 minus the present age.  

So that if one is 40 years old, one awardee can choose the payment period of 30 years or 360 months.


Can we have a specific example?


Yes, and this is it.

If the amount of loan is P800,000 and this shall be repaid in 30 years or 360 months, apply first the interest of loan at 7% per year multiply it by 30, or 210%.

This means that the total amount to be paid for all 30 years shall be 2.10 x 800,00 = P1,680,000.

Then, divide this by 360 months and the loan is payable with a monthly amortization of P4,666.67.  

This is about the same cost one will pay if he rents a place in Metro Manila. So that, rather than paying monthly without the prospect of owning, it is much better to take one.

What are the assurances of those many members who fear the P6,000,000 invested may go to waste because the project might not go as expected?


There are sufficient safeguards written in the tri-partite contract.

First, the three parties—the landowner, the NPC, and the developer-contractor—committed their selves to be sureties of each other.  This means that if one or two back out, the remaining party shall have the responsibility to complete the project.

Second, the contract limits the release of the P6,000,000 to two.  Only P3,000,000 shall be released to the contractor.  After showing physical proof that all the P3,000,000 were spent to the work as scheduled, the next P3,000,000 shall then be released.  This is to ensure the NPC that the first half of the works is done before the next trance is released.

Third, the contractor is required to post a bond of P3,000,000 to ensure that in case he runs away or fails to comply with the obligation, the NPC can get the P3,000,000 bond.

Fourth, daily and weekly monitoring and reporting are required by the contract to ensure that the project is moving.

Fifth, the NPC has its hands full in processing the loan applications of NPC members to ensure that the loan proceeds are released on time as payments to the NPC that the Club will use for the next phase.


          Is the P6,000,000 enough to complete the first 11 houses?


Yes, it is.

While the equivalent of P6,000,000 for each of the 11 houses is only P545,545.60 for each unit, the contractor commit to lend his funds to ensure that the first phase is complete.


Is it not that this author was very vocal against the handling of P6,000,000 when he ran and lost in 2010 for vice president of NPC and yet he is now vouching for this project that is the brainchild of his nemesis then?


In answering this, the author sticks to his motto. He writes in the language of truth and in the spirit of liberty that is the mark of press freedom.

Yes, during the height of NPC elections in 2010, the author ran for vice president and raised an issue out of former NPC president Benny D. Antiporda about the latter’s handling of P6,000,000.

This was because the author expressed what he believed in as genuine fears that the funds might be embezzled.

The author was the one tasked by the board then to take care of the money when the Regional Trial Court of Pasay issued a garnishment order on the case filed by the GSIS against the Press Club.

After a year, the author turned over the funds in full up to the last centavo to Mr. Antiporda, then the president.  The turnover was mandated by a board resolution upon the pledge of the latter that if the funds were to be left under his care, he would use it in a sure way and that the NPC will get P60,000 a month.  In fact, the author and Mr. Antiporda had a heated exchange during the board meeting where the latter raised a concern that the author had taken some from the funds.  The acid arguments cooled down, nevertheless. 

Second, there were circumstances and rumors that reinforced those doubts and the author had no reason to have assurance that the P6,000,000 would remain intact in the hands of Mr. Antiporda.

Third, there was an incident that built a wall between the author and Mr. Antiporda who misunderstood the actions of the author in handling that potentially-explosive situation.  This was heightened by the impulsive man that was the mark of Mr. Antiporda.

But the test of time showed Mr. Antiporda proving his pledge, and showing him already a quite good anger manager. During their one-on-one honest talk, Mr. Antiporda even agreed to the author’s suggestion for him to always observe the rule of letting 30 minutes pass before confronting a person who may have sparked his blood to surge.  While he was quiet when the author asked him to forgive NPC treasurer Amor Virata, time will heal the wounds sooner between them.

When Miss Virata raised the issue of P6,000,000, the author did his own investigation and he found out that the money remained intact as it was turned over by Mr. Antiporda to the present president, Jerry S. Yap.  

Moreover, Mr. Antiporda fulfilled the pledge of giving P60,000 a month to the NPC for about two years or for a total of P1,440,000 in exchange for him having the custody of the P6,000,000.

Fourth, the author found the housing project very doable and the NPC can get back the P6,000,000 in addition to a small margin.

With these, how can the author have any reason to remain a devil advocate?

And to smoothen further the project, the author volunteered to complete the design of the contract to ensure that at the end of the two-year period required to complete the project the NPC Village is a reality, the P6,000,000 is intact, and all parties, particularly the NPC and all the NPC members, laugh out loud.


How can the housing project now be described?


It can be described as houses love built for journalist.

This is because there is no element of gain. 

The contractor committed his time, talent, and other resources that he agreed not to add a profit margin.

The landowner allowed her land to be used although she may have other prospects.

The NPC did all the works needed for free.  Its officers, led by director Tina Maralit, make sure that all the Pag-Ibig matters and problems are resolved just so the loans of NPC members are approved and released on time.

So how does one call a work that gives pain without gain?
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