September 4, 2017
Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano called for a COA Special Audit on all housing projects under the Yolanda rehabilitation and recovery program during the two-day inquiry of House Committee on Housing and Urban Development in Tacloban City last August 31 and September 1.
“I requested for a COA Special Audit to look into the status of the housing projects under the Yolanda program and especially to validate reports of subcontracting scheme in the implementation of the housing projects and use of substandard materials in the construction. Aside from the COA Special Audit, I also moved to require the NHA to provide the pertinent documents regarding the anomalous and substandard housing projects,” Alejano said.
The documents that Alejano was asking include the (i) list of contractors awarded projects by the NHA, and number, location and status of construction of projects, (ii) Statement of Allocation and Obligation, and (iii) financial and physical reports.
Alejano shared the anomaly in the subcontracting scheme of the housing projects wherein winning contractors or bidders of NHA projects tap local sub-contractors for the projects. Subcontracting is not allowed especially without expressed permission from the NHA. He believes this scheme largely caused the delay in implementation and the use of substandard construction materials.
Before the public inquiry, the committee also conducted ocular inspections on the housing sites in Eastern Samar to which Alejano revealed, “Almost all projects under the housing program are still in different stages of construction. Meron pang tumigil ang constructions dahil wala ng pasahod sa manggagawa. Almost 4 years after Yolanda but the victims are still waiting for their houses.”
With these, Alejano hopes that those using the Yolanda housing program for corrupt and illegal activities be hold accountable. “Ang programa ay talamak sa korapsyon. Hindi lamang dapat tapusin na ang implementasyon ng programa kung hindi dapat managot din ang mga tao sa gobyerno at contractors na nagkuntsabahan para perahan ang programang ito,” he said.
In conclusion, Alejano appealed to the President to address now the issues on the Yolanda housing projects amid his orders of fast-tracking the provision of housing aid. “The Yolanda issue has been used by many politicians to further their own political interests. Some have been maligned, some have gained, but the fact still remains that the Yolanda victims are still waiting to benefit from this housing program. Ang mga bahay ay hindi tutubo nang kusa sa pananakot at pagmumura ni Duterte. Definitely, may pagkukulang ang nakaraang administrasyon pero panahon na ni Duterte ngayon at di malulutas ang problema sa paninisi sa nakaraang administrasyon habang wala namang ginagawa sa kasalukuyan,” he exclaimed.
During the third commemoration of Yolanda’s onslaught last November 8, the President expressed his dismay over the snail-paced rehabilitation of Yolanda-stricken areas, even calling it “bullshit” and reprimanding concerned agencies. In spite of his promise and orders to hasten the housing aid, thousands of families remain homeless to this day. ##
- Date:Sep 2017
- Labeled:News and Article