Thousands of NHA housing units in Bataan unoccupied

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HERMOSA, Bataan: More than 1,800 out of the 2,000 housing units of the National Housing Authority here have remained idle and unoccupied, Mayor Jopet Inton said on Thursday.

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Inton said stringent requirements for beneficiaries are the main reason why the housing program is ineffective.

He pointed out that 500 units were intended for local residents along river banks while 1,500 units are for personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) but remain vacant and are considered as white elephants.

It was not known why not a single unit in the AFP/PNP Housing Project is occupied.

Of the 500 units turned over by NHA to the municipality in June 2016, Inton said only over a hundred units were occupied.

He wrote the NHA, requesting reevaluation or assessment of existing agency policies and guidelines pertinent to the disposition and awarding of completed housing units in Hermosa Ville AFP/PNP Housing Project and Hermosa Heights Resettlement project, both located in Barangay Mabuco.

“There has been no reply or action from the NHA until now,” the mayor said.

He pointed out that for the 500 units to be awarded, one of the requirements is for the applicant to be residing on the river banks.

Those who were ejected or whose houses in a private property were demolished are not qualified.

Inton said some of the housing units constructed about five years ago showed signs of dilapidation, with a number of them having broken window glass jalousies and wooden doors.

The housing units have electricity but no water because the developer refused to operate the water system, saying there are only a few residents in the area.

Rosalia Manzanares, one of the few occupants, said they fetch water from a shallow well, adding that they have not paid for the unit since August 2016 when they moved in.

Nenita Jaring, chief of Hermosa municipal social welfare and development office, said 186 families have vacated the 500 housing units turned over by NHA to the municipal government.

Occupants came from the villages of Almacen, Pulo and San Pedro, which are the most flood-prone villages.

Jaring said amortization for a unit is free for the first year but for the second year, the occupant pays P200 monthly.

Ernie B. Esconde

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