• Lawmaker pushes audit of P5B housing budget


    The House of Representatives will scrutinize the P5-billion annual budget for the government’s socialized housing program in light of the occupation of a government housing program in Pandi, Bulacan by members of Kadamay, according to Rep. Albee Benitez of Negros Occidental.

    Benitez, chairman of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development, on Tuesday inspected the housing units in Pandi that were originally intended for soldiers and policemen.

    “Yearly, there has been a P5 billion allocation for such socialized housing program and yet much of it (housing units) is unoccupied. Congress also had a part on that [problem]because it has oversight functions and apparently, this program has very few takers because either they are too small or are lacking in the basic services such as electricity and water supply,” Benitez said in an interview.

    “This occupation of Kadamay unraveled a lot of issues about the country’s housing sector which we didn’t pay attention to in the past years. We will see to it that it won’t happen again,” he added.

    The National Housing Authority (NHA) admitted on Tuesday that its 30 percent collection of amortization further decreased to 15 percent because of the Kadamay occupation of the Pandi housing units.

    “What’s very concerning is that we keep on producing housing units that are not really acceptable to the beneficiaries or are lacking in the basic services,” Benitez said.

    Rep. Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol party-list said Kadamay has not won public support because many poor families struggle to pay their housing amortizations.

    “Kadamay, off hand, wants the houses for free. Other people may ask, where is the justice in that? NHA, on the other hand, will have a huge problem in collecting payments,” Batocabe said.


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