02 October 2010

Security Issues

Maxi, my neighbor, originally wrote this as a comment in the previous post. But I've decided to transfer it here as this subject is a major concern to us. Here's the gist of what he posted last September 29 (some parts were translated to English):

Hi Nicole,

Intruders went to our house last night 9:15 PM to be exact at the laundry area! My brother saw them and started shouting at them. The intruders climbed the perimeter wall and escaped. Avida security guards were roving at that time but the thieves were just really good at evading them.

We are still blessed, no one in my family was hurt and I'm hoping nothing was stolen because we still haven't checked our items. We're all spooked at the house right now.

Avida posted a guard in front of our house last night. My entire family is having hard time sleeping and we keep on discussing what happened. Our neighbors also visited us and checked what happened. They are also scared.

1. The intruders came from the vacant grassy area next to Avida.
2. The intruders climbed the perimeter walls. The wall is around 5'5" tall from the other side of the wall and around 7' tall from house.
3. The intruders were able to quickly escape because contractors placed their debris on the wall area. Instant access for intruders!
4. There's no barbed wire or electric fence on the perimeter walls.

I reported this to Mr. Carandang and and some Avida executives and asked for their action since we are all scared to death. We agreed on action items that he can handle at his level:

1. Deployment of additional guards and light post at our area.
2. Removal of debris on the perimeter wall. Cutting of the Ipil-Ipil tree on the vacant grassy area.
3. Deployment of the bluesacks on the construction lot areas near our house.

I'm not really happy with these action items and I immediately went to the Avida office in Makati.

I learned from them that the electric fence is still under bidding and they started the biding since April 2010. I said it's almost Christmas, when will it be installed? They have no idea but they will share their timeline with me. I asked for an interim solution like barbed wires but they cannot install it today due to purchasing issues. To my dismay, I told them that I will purchase all the required materials to have it installed and reimbursed it to Avida after the completion. They will discuss it on their Mancom meeting today and will inform me of their decision.

I have no choice but to wait and if there will be no action, I will definitely file a formal complaint against them.

I would suggest that you also add barbed wires and grills to your budget. I'll have my grills installed over the weekend.

When I was still living in Cainta, we were only afraid of floods during typhoon season. We now fear everyday that our life is always in danger starting today. If I could only return the house over the counter, I would have done it this morning.


Avida's tag line is "Sure and Secure" so this is a rather disappointing turn of events.

There have been a lot of problems associated with this house, which I have written about extensively in this blog, but through it all Earl would cheer me up by reminding me that we didn't just buy a house. We also bought into the promise Avida made about a good community with a constant supply of water, regular garbage collection and security. They seem to have failed at one, now I'm wondering whether we should cling to hope about the others.

You maybe thinking that it's a new village just getting its bearings and they deserve a chance to redeem themselves. Well, my husband's father died when robbers entered their home and shot both him and Earl.

Sometimes it just takes one incident for things to end rather grimly.

The installation of the window grills had already been scheduled prior to this incident but I now think that the construction of the fence and gate should be pushed to the top of our to-do list.

One thing is for sure, we are not telling my mother-in-law about this as she will worry to no end.


mommyerl said...

hi sis! does your neighbor have a kid daughter? i think i was able to talk to their househelp (she was in our common park with her alaga) and told me about someone jumped over the perimeter fence. Scary ah. Sana malagyan na ng electrical fence yung perimeter walls. Kaya kme impt talaga unahin yung window grills. Wala pa kse kme budget for the fence and gate.

Nicole said...

Hi Erlaine,

Maxi is single but maybe their house was not the only one affected. We plan to do the fence and gate hopefully next year (as there's no budget either =)

Maxi said...

Hi Nicole,

After I reported this incident, AVIDA took 3 days to install the barbed wires and clean the debris on OUR area only. My neighbors wanted the barbed wires installed on the perimeter walls for their protection as well, not on selected areas only. Common sense dictates, right? Also, they were also able to provide light post outside my house!

Avida timeline is very confusing. They told me that it will be October 2010, not they moved the target to Nov 2010. This is another series of non-stop follow-up. Kukulitin ko talaga sila until somebody lift a finger to make urgent installation of the electric fence.

There was also a separate case on "intrusion". According to the reports, the workers used the perimeter wall as egress. The house is also near my area, 5 lots away from us. These are construction workers and I believe they're plays major part on security issues in Avida.


ivymarasigan said...

oh no. they should do something about it. be careful, too. our subd is also taking extra precautions. there were armed men in motorcycle spotted roaming around one night. so we were advised to leave some lights on overnight. and they alarmed the security.

Jen said...

oh my! major, major scary! security has become a concern whether you live in a mansion or a small house. wala ng pinipili ang mga magnanakaw as long as they can see that a house is an easy target.

i think you guys should also consider getting a couple of guard dogs. kahit aspin lang basta yung mukhang matapang at ma-tahol ( i have a "roaming" japanese spitz na maingay talaga pag may lumapit palang sa gate and an aspin na naka-kulong na maingay din pag me strangers o me nag-doorbell).

that should discourage intruders (and those na nagma-manman to know your routine) and will also warn you if anyone tries to get into your property.

kami lang ng 3yo ko sa gabi but because of my dogs di ako masyadong worried. me reputation kasi yung jap spitz ko na nangangagat talaga (kinagat nya without warning yung magbo-bote getting our junk), so i guess it's a good thing talaga na me dogs na matapang.

also, keep a baseball bat, a crow bar (or even a gun)in your bedroom or under the bed... basta don't leave yourselves defenseless if someone does get in. mahirap naman yung maghahalughog ka pa kung saan ng pamalo...eh what if you have to lock yourself in your bedroom, di ba? alangan naman hampasin mo yung intruder ng unan or hanger.

one last thing, make sure you have a cellphone or wireless landline within reach lagi, and know the emergency numbers to call in case someone breaks in.

presence of mind is important and so is knowing your house's weak spots... syempre pag me budget na dapat i-fortify na ang weak spots.

haaayyy... what is the world coming to? imagine shouting someone to death (sorry about your father in law) para lang makapagnakaw?

anyway, stay safe friends.

Nicole said...

@Maxi - Avida should have also included your neighbors as you all share the perimeter wall! Let's just hope the electric fence will be installed sooner rather than later.

@Ivy - armed men roaming? Gone are the days when you could play patintero at night =(

@Jen - unfortunately Earl is allergic to anything with fur. But he is thinking of buying a gun (though we need to review this idea very carefully). Stay safe too!

g_saturn said...

Yikes! This is scary.. Thinking of getting the window grills installed ASAP. For now, we'd have to rely on Keagan (our dog) and Lilo & Stich (neighbor's dogs) to make a racket when they see intruders coming.

Nicole said...

Hi Gladys! I think your house is better positioned as it's deep inside the village, while Maxi and I are near the perimeter wall.

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