Plan, plan and plan some more

QUESTION: Is Stonewall Central a better name for the property?
UPDATE (click): 2012 Audited Financial Statements
UPDATE (click): 2013 Annual Meeting packet
UPDATE (click): 2013 Special Meeting packet

AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS ANALYSIS 2009-2012 (click): A CPA analysis of SOHO Central Condominium Corporation's Audited Financial Statements

The Fantasy Vision

Does everyone remember this among the wonderful ads and brochures and how about the salespeople and what they told us. I hear such fantasies continue. So after watching and remembering, cry and then laugh at the truth that is being exposed.

And, if the above is not enough and you need elevated blood pressure, here is the project's brochure.

Many posts are still issues and need to be read once again. At this main hub of postings watch for new posts and updates. Please get involved by spreading the word as to the issues here. We must document all that is taking place. Many documents need retrieval and assistance is needed in getting them scanned and posted.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Gramercy got Makati OK AFTER 5 floors added

The emphasis of AFTER is mine and I do not know why it was not placed there by the Inquirer. When they applied for the additional floors AFTER the original plans were approved, it took ONLY 4 DAYS for that new permit to be approved according to the article. Hmm, four days for a major structural change to the building to be approved.

I had a conversation recently with someone who told me that there was at great expense a model tested in the US. But, how many floors did that model have if done? Even if it had additional floors, was the subsequent construction done based upon the floors originally permitted? So many questions and now so many claims.

I believe I had seen ads in the Inquirer from Century Properties. Is this true?

Gramercy got Makati OK AFTER 5 floors added

By Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer - Friday, May 3rd, 2013

"MANILA, Philippines—The 73-story Gramercy Residences secured an amended building permit from the Makati City government only on June 8, 2012, more than a year after the construction of the skyscraper’s five additional floors was completed, according to the local Office of the Building Official (OBO).

In a Feb. 25, 2013, letter to the National Building Code Office, OBO legal officer Amando Fabio Jr. said the permit was issued to Century City Development Corp. (CCDC), Gramercy’s owner and developer, “after proper evaluation and assessment of all documents, plans and specifications submitted to this office and after a thorough inspection of the building.”

The inspection, he said, was “conducted by our technical staff pursuant to the provisions of the National Building Code and its implementing rules and regulations.”

“It is true that it took only four days from the date of application (June 4, 2012) for the issuance of the building permit since all plans, specifications and related requirements submitted to this office conformed to the requirements of the code and its regulated regulations,” Fabio said.

“Further, it is not required of us to indicate in the permit itself that we conducted the inspection on the building, since this is part of our mandate. Corollary to this, the International Organization for Standardization requires us to issue the required permits within seven working days from submission of all requirements,” he said.

“There is no need for this office to conduct any investigation to determine the liability, if any, of CCDC, since a valid permit was already issued for the five additional floors.”

The real estate firm Picar Development Corp., which is building the 74-story Stratford Residences near Gramercy on Kalayaan Avenue in Makati, has alleged that the addition of the five floors atop Gramercy was illegal. The Inquirer erroneously suggested yesterday in its report on the controversy that Stratford had been completed.


“It’s a must.”

Elizabeth Pilorin, head of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) public information and assistance division, was referring to the government requirement of securing a building permit before constructing or repairing a building, as well as adding a portion to the structure.

Citing the National Building Code of the Philippines, she told the Inquirer “it is a requirement” and is “clearly stated” in the same law, also known as Presidential Decree No. 1096.

Pilorin was apparently referring to Section 301 of the code, which states: “No person, firm or corporation, including any agency or instrumentality of the government, shall construct, alter, repair, convert, use, occupy, move, demolish and add any building/structure or any portion thereof, or cause the same to be done without first obtaining a building permit from the Building Official assigned in the place where the subject building/structure is located or to be done.”

On the other hand, a building permit shall not be required for the following:

Minor construction of sheds, greenhouses, children’s playhouses, aviaries, poultry houses and the like, open terraces or patios, window grills, garden pools for water plants or aquarium fish and garden masonry walls.

Repair work on deteriorated roofing sheets or tiles, gutters and ceilings, partition walls, doors and windows, and flooring.

Sought for comment, architect Emmanuel Cuntapay, director of the DPWH-attached National Building Code Office, said violators of the building permit-related provisions of the code face only administrative liabilities.

“They have no criminal liabilities. They face only administrative penalties, like fines,” he said.

In a phone interview, Cuntapay said “with the construction of the additional floors of [Gramercy Residences], at stake here is public safety.”

“That is why it is a DPWH concern,” he added.

In a Jan. 28 letter-complaint to the Department of Public Works and Highways, Picar said Gramercy secured an amended building permit “long after, not before” the five floors were completed in early 2011.

Picar also pointed out that “the construction of the five additional floors was outside Gramercy’s approved building permit.” The original building permit, issued in 2007, said Gramercy could only build a 68-story structure, Picar claimed.

On March 13, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson issued an order preventing the owners of Gramercy from issuing occupancy permits for the top five floors of the structure pending the resolution of the Picar complaint.

Singson also directed the OBO to submit the Gramercy file, including the skyscraper’s structural soundness, to the department."

Criminal rap filed vs Century over Gramercy construction

I would suggest everyone visit and partake of the Buddha Bar enjoying a very nice dining affair.  Afterwards, send the owner appreciation for examining the law.  It seems the law is not just a piece of paper.

"Criminal rap filed vs Century over Gramercy construction" written by Tribune

the text:

The five-member Board of Century City Development Corp (CCDC), owner and developer of Gramercy Residences on Kalayaan Ave. in Makati, was charged with violating the building code after it was alleged to have authorized the construction of five additional floors on the building without a valid permit.
In a criminal complaint filed before the Makati Prosecution Office, it was said that the construction of the additional five floors on the 68-storey structure was already completed when the company applied for an amended building permit.
The condominium building is now 73 stories high.
The complaint was filed on Apr. 25, 2013 by Milton Toledo, Senior AVP of BBP Hotel and Restaurant Inc, owner and operator of Buddha Bar, which is adjacent to the Gramercy property.
The complainant said it is concerned with the health and safety of its employees and clients of Buddha Bar.
According to the complaint, Gramercy Residences initially consisted of 68 storeys as shown in a building permit issued to CCDC by Makati building official, Engr Nelson Morales in April 2008.
As of April 25, 2012, the floor count at Gramercy remained at 68 storeys since Century has not filed any application for an amended permit for additional storeys.
But sometime in 2011, “CCDC caused the construction of additional five stories in the Gramercy Residences,” it said, adding that the construction of the five additional storeys was done without an amended building permit from the Makati Building Office. Not even an application was filed by CCDC at that time.
It was only on June 4, 2012 or after the construction of said five storeys had been completed, was an application for an amended building permit filed.
“Beyond doubt, the officials of Century City Development Corp. are responsible for violation of Section 301 of the National Building Code,” the complaint said.
The company’s board is the directing and controlling body so that the construction of the five additional storeys had its imprimatur, it said further.
The board of CCDC is composed of Jose E.B. Antonio, chairman and president; Jose Marco Antonio, John Victor Antonio, Lolita Baronda and Carlos Benedict Rivilla IV as members.
Also named as respondents were Rafael Yaptinchay, who filed the application for an amended building permit, and the company’s architect and civil engineer who signed and sealed plans and specifications.
Sec. 301 of the national building code states that no person, firm or corporation, or any agency of government instrumentality can construct, alter, repair, move, convert or demolish any building or structure or cause the same to be done without first obtaining a building permit from the building official assigned in the place where the subject building is located or the building work is to be done."

(Click here for a .pdf of the web page.)

(Click here for a .pdf of the article.)

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Star Chamber and its, not ours, Residential Areas Committee Reports (1st Quarter)

The Star Chamber and its, not ours, Residential Areas Committee Reports

yes no recent posts...this post will be written and as with many others in the past updated...let me comment on the use of the word FAGGOT against me and Ryan by a Board Director.  Yes, I will comment on this when encountering the homophobe.  At this time, many are being told of this in the Gay community here in the Philippines.  I was also told to leave and that Ryan who is Filipino is just like me and he can go too.  The hatred and possible injury to us has started.  Another Board member attempted to attack me and was stopped by security.  I had to be escorted by security to my unit.  This is the second time he has attempted assault.

"Christians are to not only to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but (also) reprove them" (Eph. 5:11). Those who do nothing about sin and evil, help the sin and evil to prevail. One who is silent when there are those around him in sin becomes a partaker with them (Eph. 5:7).

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)"

Further to these quotes provided by a Unit Owner, let me remind everyone that the word racha in Matthew 5:22 was finally and fully translated in the last century.  It was spoken by Jesus at Sermon on the Mount and specifically told the people not to say against the gays.  So we have a member of the Board I see linked with a religious group and nuns at her facebook account speaking like a member of the Ku Klux Klan or Aryan Nation in the US.  This is what Ryan and I have been attacked by at Soho Central.  Those in the Resident's Lounge at the Board meeting said nothing to her to stop when these remarks were made.

If I am attacked and not able to carry on the work for Unit Owners, I ask Unit Owners to carry on.  The climate is changing but will take a struggle.

I shall start with a last page and a quote:

... "some factions would want us gone from the position." ... "To the rest, we simply ask for your cooperation, as we promise to give ours, when we step down from this position and transfer the problems and inconveniences to the rest of you." ... "We assure you that we will step down when our term expires this August."

Will this take place?  Term?  There were no elections but appointments to a Board that has had no elections.  The history of this has been written in previous posts.

The first page below starts off with the salutation "To all Residents/Unit Owners".  The Board and its committees whether elected or as is the case unelected represent the Unit Owners who are members of the Soho Central Condominium Corporation.  The appropriate addressing of the letter needs to respect this starting and ending the salutation with To all Unit Owners.

"Part of the commitment of service" to the Unit Owners needs to also include openness.
What does "CPMI also charges 40% on the salaries oftheir people assigned to SCCC for certain personnel employment costs." mean?

The section titled "On Financial Matters" begins with the arrangement Soho Central Condominium Corporation has with Century Properties Management Inc.  We have asked for copies of all contracts and policies which includes this entity servicing the building.  This letters as other had not been answered.  Title IV Section 44 of the Corporate Code requires a vote for the management contract.  Has any taken place by a meeting called for this vote by "at least two-thirds (2/3) of the members in the case of a non-stock corporation"?

Was the Board legally allowed to place money in time deposits?  Title IV Section 42 of the Corporate Code requires a vote for investments.  Has any taken place by a meeting called for this vote "by at least two thirds (2/3) of the members in the case of non-stock corporations, at a stockholder's or member's meeting duly called for the purpose"?

Income placed in separate account "will be expended only for the benefit of all unit owners."  What are we to assume will be the use of the other account if not for the benefit of all Unit Owners?

A new external auditor was appointed.  When were they approved?  Where are the Minutes and Resolution of the Board meeting?  Why was the new auditor necessary?  What other auditors were up for possible contracts?  What were the bids?  How much is being paid versus our past auditor?  One meager sentence is not enough information.  Where is a copy of the contract?  Where is a copy of the contract for the previous auditor?  We had among 17 letters delivered last November and early December a request for copies of all such contracts and policies.  No reply for these, too.

The elevator schedule would save electricity, but I see it more as a cover for the disaster these elevators have been since turnover.  Dog and Pony Shows never seem to end along with all the clever disarming remarks.  This schedule also needs to be adjusted due to serious length of wait times with elevators packed and little fresh air due to fans that either do not work or are useless.  If these elevators stop between floors as they have with a large number of people, potential health emergencies may ensue.  I am going to tell the insurance companies not only about the flammable liquid allowed into the building but for them to examine the building as a whole.

I was asked to place in bold "FIX THE ELEVATORS NOW!"

Is the limited elevator schedule incompliance with any and all city or national laws?  Consultation would have also been appreciated at open meetings with members of the Soho Central Condominium Corporation who are the Unit Owners.

"Mirrors have been installed inside the elevators to give the small area depth and an illusion of spaciousness."  More illusion is not what the condominium industry needs.  It has more than enough of that already.

Another study!  Just what we need.  Of course, a proper final study is just what is needed given the complete failure to finally finish the installation of the elevators.  Make no mistake; the elevators are not being refurbished, rehabilitated, renovated, reconditioned, etc.  They have been in a continual state of installation since the time and prior to turnover.  This is disgusting.

"We are breathing down on PMO?"  Please, we have enough hot filling empty balloons.  What has been needed are open meetings with Unit Owners taking part in the building's affairs.  This would also include such things as a binder with all memos and a bulletin board with memos clipped to be a part of education for all residents.

Wet and Dry and not sufficient labels as Unit Owners have stated as we discuss issues with those we know and others at random.

The gym area has a new water fountain with a Resolution.  When will Unit Owners have their right to see and obtain copies of all Minutes and Resolutions?

"For sometime now, the perimeter guard at times carries a long arm gun instead of just a pistol in accordance with the instruction of the RAC as a psychological deterrent to any violent or lawless tendencies from some forces."  Well such a psychological deterrent is no longer a deterrent when it is revealed that it is a psychological deterrent.  Define "some forces."  I have stood for many hours at night outside and have not seen the roving criminals.  What I  have seen are to many guards in the lobby area until I show up and then a few scramble to do the work that needs tending to which cannot be accomplished in the lobby.
The CCTV cameras have not saved money since we still have too many guards.  What was the purpose of the cameras.  I was also told the following so please make any corrections.  The company contracted without witness of discussion of such taking place in front of Unit Owners at open meetings then subcontracted with another company and then they obtained the services of the company doing the installation.  If anyone wants to know what makes this really silly, please have me talk at the Annual Meeting or with anyone personally to let you know who the final company is.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have discussed this previously; it is time for guards to have women and the front desk to have men, too.

I have discussed the mailboxes elsewhere in the blog.  The lobby looks awful and why prefabricated were not obtained is a question.  Of course, with all the secret and private meetings one never knows why anything is done the way it is done.

There are many issues discussed in the future 2nd Quarterly Report such as the signage - .

What is the status of the bulletin boards and their use?  This was another curious situation given what took place in the past here and when compared to other buildings with more proper attention to the needs of Unit Owners.

The paragraph below only reminds me of something I was told by a Unit Owner at SOMA.  I am writing some of the comments at this post just before the Annual Meeting.  I have not heard if the construction plan was obtained.  If the city is not willing to provide information as required under the law, then a step to higher government agencies is needed for an order.  The owner at SOMA had approached the city there for a copy of the file or at least to inspect it.  He was more than willing to pay for copies.  They told him to come back in three days.  Do I need to tell anyone what happened to the entire file of SOMA?

"We have requested a copy of the construction plan (not the building plan) of SCC from MDGI (Meridien Development Group, Inc. but they seem to be sleeping on our request. We've also instructed PMO to secure a copy from the City Engineer's office but likewise to no avail. Perhaps one of you have a contact at the City Engineer's office who can expedite solution of this issue. We will welcome assistance from anyone of you."
"SCCC is absorbing the 12% VAT imposed by the BIR on all condominium dues and receipts."  Talaga!  Where does Soho Central Condominium Corporation (SCCC) get its money in the bank account?  Does it not come from the members of the SCCC?  Unit Owners.  "This has reduced our operating funds."  No kidding.  And what impression is trying to be created by the first sentence?
"We would like to reiterate that it is our policy to have at least 3 proposals before we expend money for any purchases."  What does this sentence have to do with the rest of the paragraph?

"Unlike in other condominiums, we have absorbed the VAT imposed on all dues and receipts of SCC and not collected them separately from you, unit owners."  This NONSENSE is written here for the second time and will be repeated in the future.  Who is "we?"  Where does the money in the bank account of Soho Central Condominium Corporation (SCCC) come from?  Everyone, please answer these questions and read their sentence once again.  It is we the Unit Owners who put money, our dues money, in the bank which is paying the VAT.  So while not directly or "separately" as they write we do in fact pay the VAT.  BUT, the VAT is now an unfair burden on many since not everyone pays the same dues but those paying less are subsidizing those that pay more.  Is this some form of socialism imposed upon the members, Unit Owners, of the SCCC?

They write:  "We also would like to point out that although we were "unelected" as some quarters love to persistently point out, we were legally and validly constituted in accordance with the Corporation Code and the By-laws and Master Deed of SCCC."  I challenge the legality of all sitting members of the Board in accordance with the following section of the Corporate Code - .

 (Click here for a .pdf of the report above.)

(Click here for 2nd Quarterly Report.)