House settles disputes in Smokey Mountain project

AGENCIES involved in housing issues have settled disputes during a public hearing conducted by the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development.

Committee chairman Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez said the National Housing Authority (NHA), R-II Builders, Inc. (RBI), and the Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC) successfully settled dispute particularly concerning  the Smokey Mountain Development and Reclamation Project (SMDRP).

Benitez said through the intercession of the House of Representatives, the parties agreed to enter into a compromise agreement in the settlement of issues, including those which were pending in the Court of Appeals.

One particular issue was the recognition of the NHA of its total obligation amounting to  P1.473 billion to RBI and its chairman agreeing to reduce the total obligation to P1.123 billion until its full payment. The NHA further agreed to turn over to RBI an initial five-hectare property within the Vitas Reclamation Area in Tondo, Manila.

The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) played a major role in the amicable settlement which all the parties concerned believe would finally be negotiated upon the settlement of smaller issues.  

Benitez commended the agencies involved in the Smokey Mountain project for agreeing to the amicable settlement especially in expediting settlement of financial obligation issues among the parties involved.

Benitez expressed hoped that such dispute will not crop up in the future which may again need congressional intercession.