Group raps NHA for unoccupied houses

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THE Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) has scored a point in its tiff with the National Housing Authority (NHA), as the agency confessed beneficiaries of unoccupied houses in Bulacan were never consulted about the projects.

NHA officials earlier admitted that they never met with the beneficiaries to discuss the project design, its amortization scheme and the provision of utilities.

Gloria Arellano, Kadamay national chairman, said the money for the shelter projects came from the Disbursement Acceleration Plan (DAP) of the Aquino administration that the Supreme Court had ruled as illegal and unconstitutional.

She noted that the Pandi projects were part of the housing program for the members of the Armed Forces and the National Police signed by then-President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2011.

The target of the NHA was 21,800 units to be completed at a cost of P4.2 billion, but, according to the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), the cost has ballooned to P20.78 billion.

Arellano said a total of 52,341 housing units for the soldiers and policemen are unoccupied.

Only 13 percent of the houses earmarked for policemen and soldiers have been occupied, with the beneficiaries claiming the shelters were badly designed and the materials used were substandard. In addition, there were no water or power facilities and the communities drainage and lacked were far from their work stations.

After inspecting the houses, Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano Magdalo said it was practically impossible to live there. “Parang impyerno manirahan doon,” Alejano said in March 2016.

NHA General Manager Chito M. Cruz also noted that living in the housing projects was risky.

“Hindi ligtas at hindi akma para sa tao,” said Cruz in March 2016, arguing that the houses were not only unsafe but unfit for human occupancy.

 

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Graduated from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a bachelor's degree in journalism, finished all courses for a masteral degree in communication, earned six units of doctoral subjects. Took courses in anthropology, archaeology and sociology as well as Philippine studies, Wrote for the pre-martial law Manila Times and covered the First Quarter Storm and later helped edit a Makati-based business magazine. Returned to the Manila Times in 1986, covered the insurgency, business and eventually the justice beat. Handled the foreign news section of Malaya from 1992 to 1994, worked with the late Antonio Ma. Nieva on a newspaper specializing in corporate wars for two years. Joined the Manila Bulletin as assistant provincial editor in 2000 and retired in 2012.