Sunday, July 17, 2011

Milestone #3 - Bittersweet taste of ownership

This journal entry is dedicated to my nephews, nieces and my future children (if I ever get blessed to have at least one).

May you learn to appreciate the sacrifices your elders are making so that you may have a better and brighter future.

Like a dark chocolate, one must endure the bitterness to enjoy this decadent treat.

First the sweet...

Woohooo!!! All debts have been settled with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), the government bank holding the encumbrances to the farm. We are another step closer towards complete ownership of our farm (and garden) !

Annotation at the last page of each of the title stating that the lot is encumbered in favor of the Land Bank of the Philippines, the owner.

Because this is a Land Reform issue, the bank had to sit and wait for the Supreme Court's ruling to determine the price for a hectare of reformed lot. And this is the year the ruling came out. With that, I asked my parents to immediately get in touch with the bank.

After long years of anxious waiting we have been presented with the bill that must be settled so the government bank could release all its claims to the farm. And contrary to some might think, we don't have "inside connections" so the bill we got was calculated based on what the highest court of the country has mandated. And that's the amount we paid, no more, no less :(

Our only consolation is the fact that we were told that with this particular land reform saga, we hold the record for being the first in our entire region to settle our debts...and voluntarily at that. The bank didn't even have to come after us, we went to them, we presented our papers and "begged" them to please, please compute the total amount of our debts. Now if only there's an award for that.

My gratitude also to the LBP officer and the Agrarian Reform officer who promptly looked into our case and did not give my parents the runaround that is usually encountered by ordinary individuals when dealing with government entities.

And now the bitter...

The budget meant for the farm's daily expenses had to be diverted to completely settle our bank debts. Because of that, the farm is ours (woohoo again!).

But not quite yet! Despite its minuscule size, the farm is an aggregate of 13 different titles under 13 different names, both current and previous owners. Lucky 13 indeed! The process it takes to transfer the titles under just one name will require more legwork and even more funds to pay for the taxes and other associated fees.

The top part of the first page of the Land Reform title. There are 13 of these titles that must be consolidated under one name

Unfortunately, the "bank" (guess who that is) that finances all expenses in the farm is already in the red and is at the point of insolvency. What does this mean? This means that all projects must be frozen, all non-essential expenses must be avoided, and no one is allowed to get sick until the financial institution (guess who that is) is again in the black. And that will take a very long time.

(Sigh) the hustle and bustle in the farm must momentarily grind to a halt. If only I could eat dirt and pretend it's a dark chocolate... LOLtropical garden Tropical Garden tropical garden Tropical Garden