BIZ BUZZ: Magallanes Village vs ‘unauthorized’ Chinese tenants
Not long after the Ayala Alabang Village Association cracked down on abusive tenants from mainland China—many said to be using their rented homes for illegal online gaming activities or as staffhouses—another upscale exclusive residential community has found itself in a similar predicament.
Only this time around, the mainland Chinese residents—several of whom are not even the declared tenants—have brought their connections to bear, unleashing a barrage of law enforcers, subpoenas and even a Congressional hearing on the officers of the village association.
We’re talking about the homeowners association of Magallanes Village in Makati City, which has been on the receiving end of an aggressive pushback by some mainland Chinese tenants who are being accused of violating the community’s rules.
Biz Buzz heard that these Chinese nationals were cited several times by village security personnel and by the residents’ association for violations like using their rented homes as staffhouses for multiple unrelated people.
This is against the rules of Magallanes Village that clearly stipulate that houses may only be occupied by a single family. Another violation we’re told about is using another rented house as a commissary for Chinese nationals. This means activity at the house was basically a 24/7 affair, with the “residents” disturbing their neighbors well into the wee hours of the morning, and vehicles coming and going, despite the curfew imposed by the government due to the coronavirus pandemic.
We’re told that security personnel even caught unregistered Chinese nationals hiding in the vans coming into the village at night.
More importantly, many of these tenants couldn’t show valid work permits.
But here’s the thing: after some Chinese nationals were refused entry into the village one night—because they couldn’t provide proof that they were Magallanes Village tenants, and neither were they listed on the roster of residents—the village association was soon visited by law enforcers who took up the cudgels for the Chinese nationals.
Soon after, several village officials received subpoenas from a national law enforcement agency, telling them to make an appearance to respond to criminal complaints filed against them by the Chinese nationals.
But this takes the cake: the village association heads were soon summoned to appear before a Congressional committee “in aid of legislation on the alleged discriminatory conduct of homeowners associations toward foreign nationals residing in subdivisions.”
Talk about piling it on, huh? The question is: if these Chinese nationals violating rules are pushing back in this manner against the association of well heeled village association residents, how long before they do the same in other exclusive communities where they are renting houses? Abangan!
—Daxim L. Lucas
Railway infra take-off
Travel from Metro Manila to the Clark International Airport, and vice versa, for one hour via railway. This is the proposition of the Tutuban-Malolos-Clark segments of the North-South Commuter Railway. At present, the only option for commuters is to hop on a bus and travel this distance for three hours.
In 2020, the Department of Transportation awarded Spanish infrastructure firm Acciona two sections of the P61.4-billion Malolos-Clark railway line segment worth P61.4 billion. The first involves construction of a 6.5-kilometer section of raised viaduct, an underground access section to Clark Airport using cut-and-cover procedure (used for surface tunnels), and a station at Clark Airport, in addition to substations and auxiliary installations. Construction is estimated to take three years.
The second section consists of 16 kilometers of raised viaduct, which includes the New San Fernando station.
Recently, the site of the railway line had been inspected by the Department of Transportation, the local government of Pampanga, the Japanese Embassy and project funders Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency. This heralds the start of the Acciona’s works, which are scheduled for completion by 2025. More than cutting travel time to Clark, an alternative international gateway to the metropolis, this big-ticket railway project is seen to reduce greenhouse gas emissions otherwise caused by road travel by more than 60,000 tons per year.
—Doris Dumlao Abadilla INQ
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