THE bunkhouses constructed by the government for victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda were grossly overpriced by as much as 100 percent, according to the head of a media group that provided 200 temporary shelters for those who lost their homes in Eastern Visayas.
“You don’t need an engineering degree to know that. Get the specs and go to the nearest hardware and canvass the price,” said National Press Club (NPC) President Benny Antiporda.
Antiporda led a group of NPC officers and members in an “outreach mission” in Tacloban where they witnessed the construction of bunkhouses.
“There are enough basis to support the suspicion that these bunkhouses are ‘overpriced,’” he told The Manila Times.
The NPC president who is also involved in the construction of low-cost housing units for members of the media through the NPC Village project in Pulilan, Bulacan, said their own estimates placed the cost of building one shelter at P12,060 “but not to exceed P16,000 each.”
On a per unit cost, Antiporda noted that each partition in the government bunkhouses costs roughly P35,000 in Tacloban City and less than P40,000 in Eastern Visayas.
The government spends P838,000 for a bunkhouse being built in
Tacloban City and about P959,300 each for those built in Eastern Samar. Each bunkhouse is subdivided into 24 rooms, each measuring 8.48 square meters (sqm).
Antiporda said the NPC managed to construct shelters ranging from 10 sqm to 12 sqm using corrugated roof and coco lumber for half the amount being cited by private contractors hired by the government thru the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
“Definitely, if the cost of each shelter is higher than P20,000 we should all get suspicious and alarmed,” he said.