Two Serendra residents: Back to normal in 6 months

Some affected residents have been moved into unoccupied Serendra units

AYALA'S PRIORITY. Ayala Land President Tony Aquino says getting the affected residents settled is their priority. Photo by Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – It may take up to half a year before life returns completely back to normal for Two Serendra residents moved from their units by the blast.

Ayala Land Inc (ALI) President Antonino Aquino told Rappler they aim to return the affected residents of Building B to their units in 6 months, although this is partly dependent on the government, which has control over the building as long as the investigation on the blast is ongoing.

Property giant ALI is the developer of Serendra.

“By our estimate looking at the extent of work that needs to be done, Tower I we feel, from the time the govt says ‘you can come in,’ we probably will just need a month to put that back in shape and the other one [Tower B] will take about 6 months,” he said in an interview with Rappler on Thursday, June 13.

Aquino said that according to their engineers, it does not appear that the stability of Building B was compromised during the May 31 blast that killed 3 and injured 4, when Unit 501-B exploded due to a gas leak.

He gave assurances Ayala would not move anyone back to the affected tower without the government’s occupancy permits.

Temporary housing

Aquino said 78 unit owners were evacuated, but only 62 were moved to Seda Hotel, also in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. The rest were moved to other hotels like the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati.

Residents affected by the explosion two weeks ago have started gradually moving out of Seda and into other Ayala units.

Aquino said some have been moved to unoccupied units in Two Serendra.

“Thats something we have prioritized,” Aquino said. “We know that is still not a normal lifestyle. We feel the important element is to be able to get them settled in Serendra so at least the lifestyle and the quality of life will slowly get back to normal in a setting like that.”

POWERFUL EXPLOSION. Damaged portions of Two Serendra. Photo by Robin Leonard

According to Lesley Espiritu, a resident of Building B who was also evacuated, they have been offered options by Ayala on temporary housing for the next 6 months. Aside from Serendra, residents are also offered the possibility of moving to “fully furnished” units in Greenbelt in Makati, to condos also developed by ALI.

She said ALI will shoulder the cost of their housing for the next 6 months.

“Alveo is looking for alternative units for us to stay in. They’re giving the residents options,” she told Rappler. Alveo Land is a unit of ALI.

According to Espiritu, residents who were not directly affected by the blast have raised a lot of questions.

“The ones really noisy about the issue are the ones really not affected,” she said. “Whenever we meet with the other residents they gloss over the real issue [and instead] want the LPG to be shut down, [improve] security, or for Ayala to compensate them for gas stoves they bought if they convert to electric stoves,” she said.

Some residents have also started a petition asking Serendra to shut off the piped-in gas system for good.

But Espiritu said that beyond the issue of whether to use gas or not, she and her neighbors are more concerned about finding out what really happened because “someone has to be accountable.”

Another resident said he expects the noise to die down eventually but added he just wants to know the results of the investigation. “After a few weeks and months, the dust will settle and people will go on with their lives,” he said.

Aquino told Rappler they will wait for the results of the government investigation before taking responsibility for the explosion. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.