Press Release
October 14, 2009

Senate ratifies Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners' Association

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri announced today the ratification of the bicameral conference committee report of the Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners Association Tuesday night. It will now be sent to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her signature.

The approved Magna Carta of Homeowners and Homeowners Association will provide rights and responsibilities to homeowners and lay down the guidelines on the operations of homeowners associations.

Zubiri, author of the bill, said the new law will ensure the right of every homeowner association member to avail of basic community services and facilities that is due to them.

"The Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners Association will make sure that the right of residents to a peaceful and comfortable living condition is protected," he said.

Homeowners are defined under the bill as "not only those living in titled homes and lots in subdivisions but to lessees, awardees, beneficiaries, or occupants in government socialized or economic housing or relocation projects, and even underprivileged and homeless citizens while they are in the process of being accredited as beneficiaries or awardees of ownership rights under the CMP, LTA, and other similar programs."

Lessees in government socialized housing projects or urban estates and those in communities of underprivileged and homeless citizens are also considered as homeowners for the purpose of qualifying as a member of a homeowners' association without need of any written consent or authorization.

Zubiri said the rights and benefits of homeowners, both members and non-members of homeowners associations, are enumerated in the proposed legislation.

Likewise, Zubiri expressed hope that the enactment of the new law would "hopefully put an end to the confusion on where to register homeowners' associations," pointing out that the final version mandates the registration of all homeowners' association with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), instead of listing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

He said that while existing associations previously registered with the Home Insurance Guaranteed Corporation (HIGC) or SEC would still be recognized, the associations could opt to register anew to the HLURB without penalty after the law becomes effective.

It likewise mandates local governments to first get the approval of at least the "simple majority" of homeowners associations before the conduct of any zonal reclassification.

Once signed into law, it would empower the HLURB to hear and decide intra-association and/or inter-association controversies or conflicts, without prejudice to the filing of civil and criminal cases by the parties concerned before the regular courts.

Decisions of the HLURB, however, are appealable directly to the Court of Appeals. It is also authorized to ask the assistance of the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the government if necessary to rightfully enforce its function.

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