We sent a letter to the President of the Association and he responded! Incredible! In the meantime, just to let you and everybody know, we are a legal website. We communicate for all the members of the Las Terrazas Homeowners Association since the Association, itself, doesn't communicate with us. We INFORM people like you what is happening in the Association. We are not affiliated with the Association at all. Simply, we tell the truth as to what is occurring in Las Terrazas. Example are the financial losses listed in our home page with the actual financial statement supplied by you! We, members of the Association, the majority, have a right to know what is occurring. There is no more hiding the facts from us! Hopefully, the Association's Board Of Directors will create an a 2011 Annual Budget and also record in writing future monthly meetings of the Board Of Directors and have these records at the Association's Office for us to investigate. It's all about communicating.
An update, there is still no 2011 budget or board meeting minutes for us members to see. We need transparency.
And, now, the President's words . Our responses which were sent to the Board Of Directors are included:
Firstly, I do not know who you are. LTHAI (Las Terrazas Homeowners Association, Inc.) just forwarded me a letter from you as Webmaster of lasterrazas.weebly.com.
OUR RESPONSE : Buy reading this website, you now know who we are. We are not a threat to you and we're not on an ego trip. We are dues-paying members in good standing .
Secondly, there are 'a thousand and one' Las Terrazas in the world and I do not know which Las Terrazas you are referring to or whatever personal website you are a webmaster of. The only connections I can see are 1) that the letter is addressed to LTHAI and 2) that the letter is calling for my attention . I can only assume that you are a member of LTHAI. If you are indeed a member, I would be happy to meet with you and discuss the things that concern you and the village. As a sign of courtesy, I am giving you my time of day to make a response to your letter.
OUR RESPONSE : Thank you for your courtesy. Since you didn't communicate with LTHAI members, we took the courtesy to inform them of an important event: Increase of the dues. Lasterrazas.weebly.com says we are in Davao City, Philippines (look at the top of the HOME page). Just to give you some additional knowledge based on actual facts, our Las Terrazas Subdivision is the only subdivision in the world with that name.And ,the Webmaster of our site is just the person who oversees the content of the site itself. There is a group of us assisting in communicating the truth. Organizers of the site are ALL members of LTHAI.
Thirdly, there is no website for LTHAI and any representation thereof on any website about LTHAI is unofficial if not illegal. I will not, therefore, view any unofficial website of LTHAI as you have asked me to do in the 1st paragraph of your letter.
OUR RESPONSE : We are not a website of Las Terrazas Homeowners Association, but we are legal. We use the trade name "lasterrazas" in our website and have a copywright for exclusive use of "lasterrazas.weebly.com." Actually, we can use any name we want! You wouldn't know unless you read our website.. And if you're reading this, well you now know that . We discussed your alleged,illegal claims with our lawyer and he says that all, yes, all websites are legal. It's called freedom of the speech or press. Read our disclaimer and the at the top of our main, home page. Some websites have immoral or illegal activity. An example, a pedophile site here was closed downed and the culprits were apprehended.But, their website, itself, was legal! Our site, on the other hand, is a positive one, here to communicate the good and bad things happening in our subdivision since nobody else is. We give you the complaints. It's all about communication to make this a better subdivision, not worse. We have received dozens of comments and none of them have been negative about what we have accomplished in the last year of existence. Since you are relatively new here, you might not be aware that the financial statements were hidden from us in the past. Not any more. The financial statements are here in this website and are real including our in depth analysis of how the money is being spent.
Fourthly, you mentioned of 'written annual budget plan and written minutes of monthly board meetings' in the 2nd paragraph of your letter. You can always scrutinize these documents by arranging with the LTHAI office. Let us know in advance so we can set an appointment for you and for us to prepare whatever documents you want to examine. As to the increase of maintenance dues, I can only say that the measure has been approved by the LTHAI General Assembly. By the way, did you attend the assembly? I am asking because I still do not know you and I cannot therefore determine whether you were present or not. You also stated that there is no 'communication from you to us, the ones paying the bills!' Again, I wouldn't know this since I do not know who you are as of this writing. If I have a face and a name to contend with, I will be able to answer you whether we have communicated or not.
OUR RESPONSE: We prefer to be anonymous . And we can't scrutinize budgets or meeting minutes that don't exist. Since you wrote a second letter to us saying you refuse to compile a 2011 budget-financial plan and have written monthly board meeting minutes, we have nothing to discuss to you. To be effective, you have to have a long-range financial budget plan. And as any effective businessman knows, you have to have money management to be successful.
Lastly, in the last paragraph of your letter you mentioned that 'we have numerous inquir(i)es, suggestions and complaints, the most important discussion, being maintenance (sic).' Who are the 'we' here? Can you please give specific names? As president of LTHAI, I am duty-bound to attend to the 'complaints' of any member of LTHAI for so long as he or she is a bonafide member. I do not want to delve on mere conjectures and innuendos. But I will be glad if you can gather all the 'we' that you have mentioned and meet with me at an appointed time. I am also open to discuss with you and your 'we' group about the tress, the roads and even the birds and the bees.
OUR RESPONSE: "Birds and the bees."? Let's keep this serious. The conditions of this subdivision is no laughing matter. All of us members here have a stake in our homes and lots which are important investments and are in jeopardy . Innuendos? Look around at the out-of-control weeds and untrimmed trees. Again, you are relatively new here and the past two years have seen an extreme deterioration of the subdivision for lack of a proper maintenance plan ,yet an average of PHP 10,000 per day is being spent. On what? Reiterating what we have already said, , you must have a money-management plan to not only be successful, just to be effective. Without it, you're driving without a steering wheel.
As a final note, I hope that you can introduce yourself to me. Please do not be shy. Please do not be afraid. Be a man (or woman) that you are. I am very much willing to listen to your concerns. Contact the LTHAI office so that we can make an appointment to confer with each other. Note again that I am not the 'email' kind of person since I would rather meet face to face with the people I deal with.
OUR RESPONSE: Again, we prefer to be anonymous and simply communicate with other LTHAI members. We will update this website on a regular basis investigating and reporting the maintenance activities. We'll even have pretty pictures for you! Lastly, criticizing out website as being illegal as we have explained is not true and does not deteriorate our effective goal: to communicate the truth about our deteriorating subdivision. One example which we have already explained: There is only one Las Terrazas Subdivision in the world, not thousands. You should be knowledgeable of what you say instead of just talking nonsense. You won't take suggestions from us? President Aquino takes suggestions. Do what successful people do.We are mature adults here, not children. Let's act appropriately and professional . We, the majority of association, want to make sure our hard-earned money isn't evaporated in poor management. We weren't born with silver spoons in our mouths.We know the value of money and how to manage it. And writing immature letter shows your real character. We are striving for a harmonious community as we are all equal. No one is better than anyone else.
And here's the second letter from the president we received:
I'm sorry I cannot entertain your suggestions. I do not know who you are. Just like what mothers tell their children, never follow suggestions coming from strangers. So stop bothering me because I have better things to do than read instructions that I will never follow. You're style of communicating is like that of a coward which makes you so pathetic. Get a life!
Our response: The president doesn't want to be bothered. Why become president if you can take suggestions and help this subdivision? He doesn't want to follow what is right. Here's a suggestion to him : Use proper etiquette when writing a business or even personal letter. Would make you at least seem to be a civil , professional and mature person.
Meanwhile, I remain
Ramon Teodoro Yuvienco Garcia
Las Terrazas Homeowners Association, Inc.
Davao City, Philippines
2nd LETTER TO MEMBERSHIP FROM THE PRESIDENT
As the newly elected president of our association, I would like to immediately report to you the various resolutions passed during the General Assembly (GA) last March 20, 2011.
The most important and controversial resolution passed by the GA was the increase of Maintenance Dues from P1.50 to P2.50 per square meter per month. As was discussed during the GA, the biggest factor that prompted this increase was the real property taxes that LTHAI was paying. Everyone should note that the real property tax increased from less than P300,000.00 per year to more than P1,100,000.00 per year. Although there is a pending class suit in court as to the fairness of the increase, the city government has not given any concession with regards to said case. LTHAI is, therefore, constrained to pay the new tax rates to avoid penalties and surcharges.
Other GA resolutions called for the increase of Road Maintenance Fee (for new house construction), the increase of Road Maintenance Fee (for home extensions) and the increase of Administrative and Processing Fees for new house constructions. The newly installed Board of Directors are presently drafting the implementing rules and guidelines that will govern the GA resolutions of 20 March 2011.
The previous Board of Directors also passed a resolution to impose penalties and/or surcharges for past-due accounts. A penalty/surcharge of 6% per quarter will be added to all past-due accounts. Such penalties and surcharges will be compounded quarterly. Please note that the previous Board of Directors rescinded all penalties and surcharges imposed during the past years for the reason of lack of credible documentation. Those who already paid surcharges and penalties during the past years have already been given the corresponding credits to their respective accounts.
The previous Board of Directors also increased the discount for advance payments. The discount will be increased from 10% to 20% if the member will pay a minimum of one (1) year advance payment. The present Board of Directors are presently finalizing the mechanics to implement the discounts, surcharges and other increases in maintenance dues and road maintenance fees.
Be informed that the Committee on Financial Management has already met and the committee will recommend to the Board of Directors that all of the above-stated resolutions (GA and/or Board) will take effect starting July 1, 2011. The next board meeting will be on May 4, 2011 and it is very likely that the implementing guidelines will be affirmed.
Thank you very much and I hope for your continuing support.