Press "Enter" to skip to content

Verdon Parc condo owners demand refund from December 2023 earthquake

UNIT OWNERS of Verdon Parc demanded a refund from DMCI Homes after the damage from the Dec. 2, 2023, earthquake rendered their homes inhabitable. 

During a press conference in Arcadia Event Center on May 24, lawyer Kirstin Dela Cruz noted the unsatisfactory action from DMCI management, which reportedly refused to give back their payments since the quake happened. 

“Most were traumatized especially those who were there when the quake happened but all were left with no choice but to leave since the building was no longer safe for occupancy and suffered structural damages,”  Dela Cruz said.

Dela  Cruz added that DMCI has not committed to any form of assistance beyond the initial P10,000 for each displaced resident.

However, she said most of the residents did not accept the amount, as upon receipt they would have to sign a waiver that they may return to the units, while still under renovation and DMCI is not responsible for whatever happens. 

“The residents have sought every possible means to settle, yet DMCI remains consistent in its continuous and adamant refusal, and continuously selling its units to the public without any remorse,” the lawyer said.

To recall, a 7.4 magnitude quake hit Surigao del Sur on Dec. 2, 2023. Two days after the incident, the Belvedere building of Verdon Parc was “yellow tagged” by the Office of the City Building Official.

Citing the order on Dec. 4, Khashayar Toghyani, OCBO officer-in-charge, said portions were likely to fall, dislodge, or even collapse on the unit owners. The OCBO ordered immediate vacation and repair of the said building.

Catalina Paglangan, a Belvedere unit owner, shared she was among the residents forced to vacate after the quake.

Ni piso, wala mi nadawat nga compensation, pero ang pinakasakit, hantud karon ginapabayad gihapon mi og monthly dues, asay hustiya aning gihimo sa DMCI sa amoa, mura mig mga iro nga gitaboy mi sa kaugalingon namong investment (We did not receive a single peso. What hurts the most is they still demanded monthly dues from us. We feel like dogs being shooed away from our own investments),” Paglangan said.

She added they had sent a letter to DMCI for a refund but received no reply, which prompted them to seek help from the media.

Gihatagan mo namo og chance, dili mi kamahayan DMCI nga niabot mi diri kay wala nami laing recourse (We gave DMCI a chance so they could not blame us since we have no other recourse),” she said.

Paglangan shared they did not know Verdon Parc is one of the DMCI projects. Had she known, she would not have bought a unit.

A building of Ecoland 4000, a DMCI-owned condo in the city collapsed following a 6.5 magnitude quake that hit Mindanao in October 2019.

Jocelyn Eder, one of the residents present, said they have also sent a demand letter for a refund through their lawyer Dela Cruz. The lawyer said she did not receive a proper reply besides the email addressed to Eder saying a refund wasn’t possible since her payments did not reach 24 months, citing Maceda Law 

“I already told them before nga dili pwede gamiton si Maceda Law, kay dili man ni siya nga gusto lang namo i-stop, ang ilaha is dili na ipadayon kay  naay problema ang building,” Dela Cruz said.

Republic Act 6552 or Realty Installment Buyer Act also known as “Maceda Law” protects real estate buyers on installment payments against onerous and oppressive conditions.

The law further states that in case less than two years of installments were paid, the buyer is entitled to a grace period of no less than 60 days from the date the installment became due. If the buyer fulfills the 24 months, he/she shall be entitled to 50% of the payments made.

The lawyer added there was one who received a refund such as a percentage of the security deposit,  10% closing fee, and advance payment of real property tax, but was told to sign a waiver that once receiving the refund, they will no longer run after DMCI. 

The legal team said they are contemplating filing charges against DMCI, however, they could not attach supporting documents as the Structural Engineer Chris Servida was made to sign a non-disclosure agreement by DMCI and he can only divulge the details of the report to the DMCI and OCBO. 

The recent action of the legal team was sending a letter to OCBO to release the reports considering the engineers already submitted these to them. However, the office denied the legal team a copy of the report as it would violate the Data Privacy Act.

The residents who demanded the refund and displacement compensation are keen on not returning to their units, however, those who want to stay, demand proper retrofitting from DMCI to assure the safety of the units.

Photo: Bing Gonzales


Powered By ICTC/DRS