Housing agency chief says Binay did not receive DAP funds

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Vice President Jejomar Binay and the Home Guaranty Corp. (HGC) did not receive any funds from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), HGC President Manuel Sanchez said on Sunday.

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“We have not received nor asked for P2.243 billion from the DAP,” Sanchez added.

Recent reports said Binay, also the chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), received DAP funds through HGC and the National Housing Authority (NHA).

“The reports are apparently intended to malign the Vice President’s name as part of the demolition job against him,” Sanchez said.

He clarified that the amount, which was allegedly reflected in the Department of Budget and Management’s records, corresponds to the appraised value of the “air rights” above the Philippine National Railway (PNR) tracks from Buendia in Makati City to the junction of Samson Road in Caloocan City.

“What we are asking for is proper compensation for the transfer of the PNR air rights to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). We bought it, it is only right that we get paid in return once we transfer it,” Sanchez said.

“We were surprised when we read the reckless reports claiming we got more than P2 billion when, in fact, we have received no payment so far,” he added.

As head of the housing sector, Binay serves as ex-officio chairman of the NHA Board and is not involved in the agency’s operations.

As for HGC, the Vice President acts as ex-officio vice chairman of the board while the Secretary of the Department of Finance functions as the ex-officio chairman.

The “air rights,” along with other assets, was conveyed to HGC in March 2003 after the agency paid the P1.38 billion obligation to investors of the failed Sariling Pabahay sa Riles (Sapari) project. Aside from the P1.38 billion guaranty call payment, HGC also shouldered the P1.083 billion project expenses.

The Sapari was a joint-venture project of PNR, NHA, New San Jose Builders Inc. and HUDCC in 1996. Funding for the project was raised through the issuance of bonds called Asset Participation Certificates (APCs), backed up by a pool of assets as security. HGC was mandated to guarantee payment of the certificates.

There were insufficient funds to redeem the APCs when they matured, however.

When the guaranty call was made in November 2000, HGC, as guarantor, paid all obligations to the investors who bought APCs. The asset pool, which included the “air rights,” was conveyed to HGC in payment of the guaranty call.

HGC published the asset for sale in early 2012 to recover its exposure in the Sapari project. The “air rights” is a crucial component in the development of the ongoing SLEX-NLEX road connector project.

Considering the value of the “air rights” to the project, it was deemed in the best interest of the government that the asset remained state-owned. The HGC withdrew the “air rights,” appraised at P2.2 billion, from public auction for transfer instead to the DPWH to be used in the road connector project.

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