MARAWI CITY, Philippines — The National Housing Authority (NHA) has encouraged the public to come forward and report erring housing contractors to enable the agency to investigate complaints and put questionable contractors on hold.
NHA General Manager Marcelino P. Escalada Jr. said discrepancy in the implementation of housing projects can be avoided with a more involved public who can sound the alarm when there are irregularities.
“We welcome all NHA housing complainants to file a complaint, submit a list of contract violations in the specifications of their units and if they can present evidence, that would be a big help, we will help you, help us also by filing a formal complaint not through the media,” Escalada emphasized.
“It has to be a partnership between the public and the government. They have to come forward to,” he added.
The previous administration established a multi-billion housing programs to include but until now, thousands of the long completed NHA housing projects remain unoccupied as takers refused to occupy the units citing various defects-mostly issues of sub-standard materials.
Among NHA housing the projects which the Aquino administration completed but remains unoccupied include:
- The Pandi, Bulacan housing, for the police officers and their families, the project taken over by the militant Kadamay, President Rodrigo Duterte allowed Kadamay to take over the houses as it was long completed but remain unoccupied project because the takers refused to stay in their houses citing various defects.
- The unoccupied units were meant for police officers and their families. But they have refused to accept substandard units.
- The same story in Tacloban for housing intended for the Yolanda victims.
- The NHA project in Pagadian City which cost nearly P500-million.
The “Kagitingan Heights is one of the housing projects built through then-president Benigno Aquino III’s Administrative Order 9 (AO 9), which directed the NHA to ‘formulate, implement and manage housing program for the military and police personnel…’”
Escalada said the construction of Kagitingan Heights commenced in October 2012 and was “physically completed” in May 2014. After three years, Escalada claims the units had not yet been turned over to NHA by the contractor because retrofitting works are still being done.
The Aquino government has spent billions upon billions of its resources for various housing programs but almost all projects are hounded with issues of sub-standard.
Escalada said “We need the cooperation of the beneficiaries and they should complain to us, we are not here to blame the previous administration for all the lapses and the housing problems, we are here to respond to all their concerns as the government housing agency.”
Though he added “We are working now under the strict instructions from President Duterte to make all NHA housing units a liveable and comfortable house for every Fillipino family needing a decent home.”
At the end of the day, Escalada said “We need to held accountable the responsible agencies for the failure of the housing projects and that includes the contractors.”
Earlier, the NHA issued a “show cause” order to 20 contractors who were awarded to undertake the Yolanda housing project.
Most of them failed to explain why they can still join the bidding for NHA housing projects, which was tantamount to their disqualification from undertaking government housing projects.
The project was part of the multi-billion project of the previous administration after super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) devastated several communities in the Visayas.
For this year, the NHA has bidded out 194,454 housing units or 95% of the 205,128 housing units this year.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph