Binay orders probe on ‘Sendong’ housing beneficiaries

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/25 August) – Vice President Jejomar Binay has directed the National Housing Authority (NHA) to look into reports that some housing units built for the survivors of Tropical Storm Sendong in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City have poor qualities.

“I have already directed NHA General Manager Chito Cruz to conduct a thorough investigation on the allegations of some recipients in the resettlement sites in CDO,” Binay, who also chairs the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), said in a statement Friday.

Binay’s statement came after reports that some residents at the Calaanan relocation site in Barangay Canito-an in CDO have complained of cracked walls and floors that they say could not withstand even a low magnitude earthquake.

“We are taking these reports seriously because it is first and foremost an issue of the residents’ safety,” Binay added.

He said that the tight budget for each housing unit–roughly around P110,000–should not be an excuse for shoddy construction.

Binay said that the contractors have assured the amount would not compromise the safety of the families to be relocated, citing they have had several consultations before the development of the resettlement site started.

The government has financed the construction of some 500 housing units in Sitio Calaanan.

President Benigno Aquino III, Binay, and Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman had turned over the units to survivors of the Tropical Storm Sendong.

Binay assured the residents of the Calaanan resettlement site that they will look into their complaints, and that they will discuss the matter with the contractors, including the Habitat for Humanity and Gawad Kalinga, so that any deficiency will be addressed immediately.

“We want our kababayans to live without any fear that their houses might suddenly collapse, so I am encouraging the residents of Calanaan and other resettlement sites to report to us any structural defect that they may notice in the houses that have been given to them,” he added. (MindaNews)