Press Release
Sponsorship Speech of Sen. Rodolfo G. Biazon
on S.B. No. 2459, An Act Granting The Magna Carta For Homeowners Associations
And For Other Purposes, As Contained in Committee Report No. 99
October 4, 2006

Empowering The People

Mr. President:

Your Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement joint with your Committee on Local Government would like to sponsor S.B. No. 2459, An Act Granting The Magna Carta For Homeowners Associations And For Other Purposes, as contained in Committee Report No. 99. It is in consideration of Senate Bill No. 1294 and House Bill No. 4428.

For the first time since the very first Constitution of this nation was promulgated on January 20, 1899, the role of peoples organizations in nation-building was recognized with the approval of the 1987 Constitution. Section 15, Article XIII provides:

The State shall respect the role of independent peoples organizations to enable the people to pursue and protect, within the democratic framework, their legitimate and collective interests and aspirations through peaceful and lawful means.

Aside from Section 15, Article XIII, two other sections of the present constitution Section 23, Article II and Section 16 also of Article XIII also make reference to peoples organizations. Indeed, after 1987, peoples organizations flourished and up to this day, continue to flourish.

The passage into law of the Local Government Code further recognized, emphasized and pushed into the rubric of the nations consciousness, the significant role of peoples organizations in the task of governance and in uplifting the quality of life of our people. Sections 34 to 36 of the Code specifically provide for these.

A homeowners association is one such type of peoples organization that is being referred to in the provisions of the Constitution and that the Local Government Code that were cited earlier.

More often than not, in communities where there are homeowners associations, whenever a problem comes up, such is usually tried to be resolved by these organizations before it is referred to the Barangay. Problems ranging from simple misunderstandings or petty quarrels among neighbors and up to the more complex ones such as providing basic services to the people in terms of water, garbage collection or security (peace and order), are usually taken cared of by homeowners associations.

What this representation just described clearly speaks of the very important role that homeowners associations play in our daily lives. Homeowners associations are not just instruments that embody the will of our people to help themselves with whatever resources they can muster. These organizations are also manifestations of the stark reality of the dearth of government resources in providing our people with badly needed basic services.

Therefore, it is but logical that government should provide an environment that would further allow the growth and development of such types of organizations. By doing so, we are also empowering our people.

It is with these objectives in mind that Senate Bill No. 2459 was conceptualized.

Senate Bill No. 2459, as crafted, defines homeowners association as a corporation or other legal entity duly registered with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), of owners of a residential real property located within the associations jurisdiction, or an association of awardees or beneficiaries of a unit, house and/or lot in government-assisted housing projects, as described in their governing documents and by virtue of membership or ownership of property are obligated to pay real property taxes, insurance premiums, maintenance costs and such other necessary fees. It also defines the rights and powers of homeowners associations and the rights of its members.

For an organization to be properly managed by its officers, their duties and responsibilities must be well-defined. Cognizant of this need, the bill also provided accordingly in Section 6.

By stipulating certain basic provisions that the By-Laws of homeowners associations should contain, the proposed measure also seeks to establish certain standards in this governing document of these organizations. Senate Bill No. 2459 also proposes for the tax exemption of homeowners association dues and income derived from rental of their facilities provided that such are spent for the improvement and upkeep of the subdivision and the provision of basic services for its residents. This is in recognition of the role of homeowners associations as partners of the government in providing basic services to our people.

The rationale for the passage of this bill is quite simple. It takes off from the basic principle that as an organization that is rooted in the places of abode of people, homeowners associations need to be supported and enhanced. These organizations when properly harnessed can be a potent force in trying to shape the future of this nation and its people.

Thank you.

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