Robredo backs charges vs. ‘Yolanda’ housing contractor over substandard materials

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VICE President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo favors the lawmakers’ proposal to file perjury and syndicated estafa against the contractor of the housing project in Samar and Leyte for victims of Supertyphoon “Yolanda”.

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“[To file charges vs. the contractors] is the order of the day. When I was with HUDCC, I have repeatedly pointed out problems on the Yolanda housing project. There are flaws in the policy,” Robredo, a lawyer, said in an interview during her visit to Pili, Camarines Sur.

Robredo, a former chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), said the problem lay with the fact that the National Housing Authority (NHA) was burdened with implementing the Yolanda housing project even if the local government units were capable of fulfilling such task.

The call for the filing of charges against contractor Juanito Tayag of J.C. Tayag Builders, Inc. was made by Robredo’s former colleagues in the House of Representatives — Reps. Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar and Albee Benitez of Negros Occidental who also served as chairman of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development.

“The implementation [of the Yolanda housing project]is overly centralized with NHA in charge of all the contracts involving the Yolanda housing projects. Since it is centralized, it involves big contracts. Big contracts can only be won by triple A contractors which do not have presence in Leyte and Samar,” Robredo said.

These big-time contractors, Robredo said, tend to sub-contract the Yolanda housing project.

“We have discovered that the Yolanda housing project is being sub-contracted four, even five times. If you resort to sub-contracting the project four to five times, you will really compromise the quality of the project,” Robredo said.

“Aside from reduced quality, sub-contracting will delay the project. The NHA cannot implement the project alone because they are overburdened. That’s why I made a proposal that it’s the local government units (LGU) which should implement the project,” Robredo added.

Robredo argued that the LGU officials have the mandate to implement the housing project.

“Before I resigned [as HUDCC Chair], I called for a meeting with governors and most of them agree that the LGUs should take charge because they are directly accountable to their constituents. The public pressure to deliver is on the LGU officials,” Robredo said.

 

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