OFW’s housing woes | Global News
Bantay OCW (Ang Boses ng OFW)

OFW’s housing woes

/ 12:15 AM May 18, 2014

To own a house is a big deal for every OFW family because that would remind them of the fruits of their labor overseas.

Juanillo “Jun” Martinez, a foreman for the past seven years in a construction company in Saudi Arabia, and his wife, Ning, have been looking forward to finally moving into their own house. Unfortunately, they fear they have been victimized by a bogus developer.

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They related that an agent had shown them an attractive brochure and encouraged them to buy a house and lot being developed by AJEM Properties and Development Corporation. Elmer Mallorca is the president of the company which lists its office address as Unit E, 2/F Orange Building, 310 Zabarte Road, Brgy. Kaligayahan, Novaliches, Quezon City.

The couple checked the pictures of AJEM projects on Facebook and chose a house and lot with a contract price of P1.35 million located at Mystical Rosa Villa in Brixtonville, Camarin, Caloocan City.

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They paid a reservation fee of P20,000 on April 2012 and paid P10,000 monthly from May to September 2012. They paid another  P10,000 on November 2012 and P15,000 last January 2013.

On February 2013, the Martinez couple visited the site and were surprised that AJEM, contrary to their agreement, had not constructed any house on the site.  They decided to back out from their deal and asked the company to give them back the money they had paid out.

AJEM president Elmer Mallorca reportedly promised to return the amount of P55,000. The couple even agreed to forget the reservation fee.  They said Mallorca had promised to repay them last May 2013 but nothing came of it.  Still, he assured them  they would get their money back.

Last November 2013, the couple visited the site again and noted no houses had been constructed. They noted the office of AJEM in Novaliches, Quezon City has already closed.

This March 2014, Bantay OCW sent a text message to Mallorca. We asked him to fulfill his promise and return the money to the Martinez couple.  His reply on March 21 at 2:15 p.m. was “Ok copy, I will refund her money once my fund is released, that I expect this coming second week of April.”

We asked in another message for an exact date in April. He responded on April 8: “After Holy Week pa.” Bantay OCW asked him again for an  exact date. He replied: “April 30.”

It turned out, it was an empty promise.

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Mallorca insisted he was not deceiving anyone and was not afraid of facing the Martinez couple’s complaints.

But if Mallorca did not fool anyone, then why do we have complainants? Why didn’t he comply with his promise of constructing a house? Why was he asked to return the money? Why can’t he pay back even such a small amount? Where is the AJEM office? Why did it close? Office numbers when dialed said it was not yet in service (4191625) and that the number 4177255 is incorrect. What is the correct number, Mr. Mallorca?

Bantay OCW immediately brought this case to the attention of Vice President Jejomar Binay, the housing czar and also presidential adviser on OFW concerns. Binay promised he would conduct the necessary investigation. He also instructed the couple to file a formal complaint with the office of Atty. Tony Bernardo, CEO of Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

Others with similar complaints may be wise to also file complaints with this office.

Susan Andes, also known as Susan K., can be heard over Radyo Inquirer dzIQ 990 AM, Monday to Friday, 10:30 am-12:00 noon. Audio/video live streaming is at www.ustream.tv/channel/dziq.  Helpline: 0927-6499870

E-mail: [email protected]/ [email protected]

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TAGS: AJEM, AJEM Properties and Development Corp., Elmer Mallorca, Global Pinoy, Housing, OFW, Property, Real Estate, Susan K
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