So it’s going to be our second day at the new house.
We moved in last February 28, 2018 but it was as early as the 20th day of last month when I submitted the fully accomplished Occupancy Permit application form at the developer’s main branch office after paying for the move-in fees to cover an occupancy bond of Php 1,200.00 and water meter in the amount of Php 8,200.00. Because I paid early, I got a 4% discount which I used to initially fund my checking account and our MERALCO (our local power provider company), as well as streetlight and garbage fees have been waived.
I qualified for Step 5 which is the opportunity to schedule the punchlisting of corrective works so we could do a Satisfactory Survey of the unit. We could have had the chance to comment on the painting job, carpentry works, masonry stuff, and over-all quality of the house but since our budget was limited we decided to skip Step 5 since the punchlisting will take place sometime in May, 2018. This could imply double amortization fees on our part and it seemed to me that we were not cut out for this so I signed the waiver form and submitted this to the On-site Engineer and the Administrative Staff Head of the subdivision. It was followed by a short conference with the key personnel to remind me that the minimum billable consumption amount for water is Php 169.00 per month and if ever I fail to pay my dues on time I will have to pay Php 300.00 as a reconnection fee and one-month advanced payment plus the amount that I failed to pay on time.
On the Notice of Acceptance, I need to make sure that the installation date, water meter number and initial reading details are entered accurately.
As for electricity, I was informed that the new subdivision has an on-going MERALCO ENERGIZATION which is yet to be fully completed so all residents or homeowners could have permanent electric connection. It was therefore agreed upon that my family must not plug in big appliances (such as the refrigerator, TV and washing machine) and welding machines (for those with construction projects) or incur huge power consumption. Electric bills will not be paid in a MERALCO outlet yet. The developer company owns another subdivision unit which has an office that can accommodate such payments every day for seven days a week from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The permanent MERALCO meter will only be installed if all bill balances have been settled by each homeowner.
I submitted the House Inspection permit last February 22, 2018. Unfortunately, I was not supposed to bring the document home since none of us are qualified to do house inspection.
On my own, I studied basic interior design principles and house inspection guidelines via online courses just so I have an idea of what was going on and future things to come. Simultaneously, I started packing things up and tried to bring only the essential things. Overall we spent a total of Php 350.00 for the transportation expenses related to move-in procedures.
For Step 6 to be accomplished, I had to draft a letter addressed to key people in regards to the request for an earlier turnover date. Conditions that have been stipulated were the lack of electricity and water supply. Keys were turned over to me last February 26, 2018.
Upon acceptance of three sets of keys, I also received the Notice of Unit Acceptance which is, in essence, a warranty document stating that I have six months to air out plumbing concerns, two weeks for water leak concerns and countdown must begin right after I accept the water meter, two weeks for electrical concerns, and 12 months for roof leak concerns. The latter is easy to observe since we do not have a ceiling yet. We just have to wait for the rain to come. These days it’s early Summer here at the Philippine islands.
We were able to transfer to the new house last February 28, 2018. We left a clean apartment (and all of our dirty clothes have been washed!) and we said goodbye to our landlady and our neighbors. We are pioneers in this block. Right now, it's only us. And so we can afford to be noisy. Hahaha! I mean the generator is so 95-decibel noisy. Neighbors won’t get affected yet. We have some perks because we waived the punchlisting of corrective works. We get to have free water supply! We just have to fetch water from the area near the guard house. Four security guards and 1 canine unit are guarding the subdivision.
It has been two days since we “homed-in” and it looks like our only major concerns are electricity, which I try to solve by using my portable electric generator, and water supply, which is given to us for free. There’s a business man who is selling purified water to us at Php 30.00 per slim container (which contains approximately 3 gallons of water) and he delivers drinking water every morning.
Yesterday electricians, who probably serve as utility men of the company, came to the house and inspected the metallic box cavity (it still is invisible up to this time) near the door. Then they said that although they are available to work on the box so we can have electricity, they will still wait for March 9, 2018 because that was the original schedule as per our agreement with the company as stipulated in the contract and in the letter that I forwarded to the Office of the On-site Engineer. So I did business as usual with my portable generator. After a few minutes, they came back and worked on the electric post near our house. It looks like we are going to have electricity as scheduled.
The first time I reviewed the steps on how to operate my portable generator, I had an error. I forgot to switch the lever to the left side first before pulling the string. I learned that I need to check if there's unleaded gasoline inside the tank (50:1 with 2T oil) and that I need to turn the fuel lever on and push the "I" button before switching the lever below it to the left. I had to remind myself that I have to pull the string then switch the lever to the right before plugging cords in the extension wire. When everything was ready, I could commence my work on my desktop.
Today, however, it was a disaster. The generator got broken. My seven-year old son operated it while I was upstairs trying to fetch his school uniforms that are meant to be pressed. We spent almost an eternity agonizing over the loss of power. I wanted to spank him. But I wanted to work more than I wanted to hurt him so I gathered the tool box. I got a pair of scissors, bent and bare metals, duct tape, and coated wire. In the end, the wire was the most helpful. We had to fish out the thread that was not in place.
The duct tape was in the survival kit which I started preparing over a year ago for Martial Law incidents, typhoons, and earthquakes. Now, it has been very useful to us while we struggle with electrical and water problems. We could use paper plates and disposable utensils, for instance, thus lessening the need for more water. At night, we have to soak our skin in anti-Dengue Off Lotion. Thanks to Scott E for the CoffeeBreak lesson. Our lamp is the moon after the candle is extinguished. On our first night here, I could not sleep and realized that I have been ignoring the moon for quite such a long time. When I was in our island town, I remember that we used to play “Patintero” under the moon. Now, the moon is our street lamp. And so far we haven’t incurred any expenses related to its power use.
I am grateful.