PCOO welcomes DMCI decision to pay Ecoland unit owners

A Palace official on Sunday welcomed the decision of DMCI Holdings Inc. Chairman Isidro Consunji to compensate tenants of Ecoland 4000 homeowners for their condo units which collapsed due to the 6.5-magnitude earthquake which struck Davao City last October.

Consunji made the decision after President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday took a swipe at him, a shareholder of Maynilad, for making remarks on the latest issue on water, while the latter refused to take responsibility for the damaged condo units built by its sister firm in Davao.

The condominium was built by a DMCI subsidiary.

We welcome DMCI President and CEO Isidro 'Sid' Consunji's acceptance to settle the damages endured by the residents of Ecoland 4000 from earthquake in Davao last October 2019, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Martin Andanar said in a statement.

The settlement will help those who were affected especially in their transfer of residence and recovery from the unfortunate event, he added.

Andanar, meanwhile, emphasized the effectiveness of the President's tirades against business firms in resolving issues such as compensation to homeowners.

Had it not been for President Duterte's message, the issue wouldn't have been resolved equitably, Andanar said.

Businesses and firms should not wait to be called out by President Duterte as having certain issues that are burdening their clients, he added.

The PCOO chief, meanwhile, encouraged all businesses to be sensitive to and have the interests and needs of their clients at heart.

To prevent similar circumstances from recurring, Andanar also asked them to be compliant to the standards and relevant legislations.

On Friday, Duterte asked Consunji to prioritize solving its problem with the Ecoland 4000 condominium in Davao City before making comments on the water contracts.

"Noong isang araw, nagsalita siya about concession sa water. Sabi ko, ikaw may problema ka, unahin mo ang problema sa tao (The other day, he talked about the water concession deal. I said, you have a problem with other people, fix it first)," he said.

"Que builder ka, Consunji ka man o hindi, kapag naasar ako sa'yo (If you are a builder, either you are Consunji or not, if I get pissed), I will not grant you any permit to dig," Duterte added.

Duterte also threatened to suspend the permit of DMCI and Consunji, who also runs coal mines under Semirara Mining and Power Corp.

However, after Duterte's criticism, Consunji said his company accepted the offer to settle the claims of the homeowners at 150 percent of acquisition cost.

Urban Property Developers Inc. (UPDI) also gave assurances that it was working with unit owners to settle issues surrounding the damaged building.

"We would also like to assure President Rodrigo R. Duterte and our unit owners that we are fully committed to resolving this issue in a fair manner at the soonest possible time," UPDI, a real estate company privately held by the Consunji family, said.

Earlier, Consunji, who is also the vice chairman of Maynilad, said he could not understand where Duterte's word war against water firms is coming from because the previous water concession contract was not drafted by the private sector.

He said that both Maynilad and Manila Water would go bankrupt should Duterte push through with revoking water supply deals for Metro Manila.

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) had revoked the resolution extending the onerous concession agreement with the two water firms.

Source: Philippines News Agency