"(From left) Rep. Rodolfo Valencia, committee chairman on housing and urban development; UBFHAI president Leo Arceo and UBFHAI chairman Antonio Tinsay attend the House hearing on BF Homes water problems. Boy Santos
"MANILA, Philippines - A committee of the House of Representatives yesterday directed the National Water Resources Board to issue a 'cease and desist order' stopping the BF Homes Inc. from opposing the laying of pipes by Maynilad in the BF Homes subdivision.
"The motion of Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez was carried, amid attempts by Deputy Speaker Amelita Villarosa to make an amendment, by the House committee on housing and human settlements headed by Mindoro Oriental Rep. Rodolfo Valencia. Villarosa wanted to make a “colatilla” on Golez’s motion, insisting that certain rulings, or the 'finality' of it, should first be made before the House ruling takes effect, or simply to allow due process to reign, to avoid suits and counter-suits in the future.
"Golez begged to disagree, however. 'The motion is persuasive in nature. No interest will be prejudiced here. It will not prevent any of the parties from seeking (legal) remedies. I am sorry that I cannot accept the amendment of the Deputy Speaker.' Nevertheless, Villarosa, along with Golez’s fellow Parañaque representative, Eduardo Zialcita, both suggested that an 'amicable settlement' be made to put the decades-old water problem to rest, to which Golez and Valencia concurred. Zialcita proposed the creation of a task force whose chairman is an independent person – or like Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing, whom he called the 'icon of housing development.' 'It can be given a maximum of 30 days to come up with a fairly acceptable solution to this problem.'
"Also yesterday, Maynilad president Rogelio Singson told the Valencia panel that they can carry out and finish the laying of water pipes and providing water in the area by 'December this year' for as long as there are no legal impediments. 'For as long as there is no judicial interference, Maynilad can deliver,' Golez said.
"Singson, too, categorically stated that Maynilad is willing to 'compensate' BF Homes Inc. for whatever revenues it intends to recover. 'We’d like to see what’s recoverable in their P60 million. We’re ready to compensate that.' 'Hopefully, this will put to rest whatever they have to get from homeowners,' Singson said.
"Zialcita said this water problem in the area has been there for decades and that it deserves 'one last chance.' 'That’s all I have to say. There has to be one last chance, because we might be accused of taking sides here.'
"Bagatsing, a former official of the Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council, said the reality is that there is no water. 'The homeowners are the new owners of the subdivision, it’s no longer the developer.' 'Malinis, maayos or mura ba ang tubig? Water is universal. It’s everybody’s concern,' he said.
"Golez, who earlier spearheaded a rally against the Las Piñas judge who blocked the laying of water pipes in BF Homes, has filed a resolution in the House of Representatives condemning the interference of an organization. "