’Yolanda’ housing contractor denies use of ‘substandard’ materials

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THE main contractor of the housing project for victims of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” said that he did not use substandard materials in building their homes.

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Juanito “JC” Tayag said in a joint inquiry by the committees on housing and good government and public accountability of the House of Representatives that his company never used or even purchased the eight-millimeter bars that were supposedly used in the houses.

“The company never used or purchased [8 millimeter bars for the houses]. I’m speaking based on our records. Based on our records, we did not use any 8 millimeter bars,” Tayag said.

Tayag made this assertion even after the committee on housing, in an investigation, confirmed the use of these substandard materials.

The required measurement of the bars for housing projects was 10 millimeters.

Tayag added that his company was also investigating why there were 8 millimeter bars on the project site.

“Sa totoo po, pati po kami nagpapa-investigate dito dahil hindi din po naming alam bakit nagkaroon ng undersized na bars doon.

Marami rin po kaming probable cause na iniisip bakit ganun,” Tayag said.

(In reality, we are also investigating the situation because we do not know why we have undersized bars in the site. We are looking at a lot of probable causes on what happened.)

“Wala po akong alam na may substandard na nandun. Wala po sa mga main structures na nandun. Marami po kaming iniisip na probable cause, baka nagkamali po ng delivery, baka planted ang mga iyon, marami pong dahilan,” Tayag added.

(We do not know anything about the substandard materials. We do not have substandard materials on the main structures. We are thinking of a lot of probable causes, maybe they delivered the wrong materials, maybe the materials are planted. There are a lot of reasons.)

Rizaldy Mediavillo, regional director of the National Housing Authority (NHA) in the Visayas, said that he issued a site memorandum to Tayag on December 2016 when the NHA saw the undersized bars and was asked by housing committee chairman Negros Occidental Alfredo Benitez why it did nothing despite the project being under its supervision.

“Binigyan naming sya ng site memo na it is not in accordance with the plans and at the same time, yung project na yun kasi, hindi pa sya bayad and at the same time hindi pa sya accepted so he has the option to rectify together with the other rectifications that has to be done in the project. Until such time na marectify iyon, hindi sya mababayaran,” Mediavillo said.

(We gave him a site memorandum, which said that the materials were not in accordance with the plans and at the same time … until such time that that this would be rectified, he would not be paid.)

Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel, House committee on good government and public accountability chairman, also slammed the NHA for awarding the housing project to an inexperienced contractor.

Pimentel said the contractor should have completed a project amounting to at least 50 percent of the P400 million budget for the Yolanda housing project before he could be considered qualified.

“Sabi po ni [Tayag] ang first contract niya is P92 million. Yung pangalawang contract nya, P800 million. Baka naman di siya qualified,” Pimentel said.

(Tayag told us that his first contract was worth P92 million. The second contract, P800 million. Is he qualified?)

Pimentel also cited the “slippage percentage” of Tayag as grounds for rescinding his contract.

Grace Guevarra, NHA officer-in-charge on Visayas Management, said Tayag had a slippage percentage ranging from negative 24 to negative 82 in his projects.

“82 percent na iyan. Sobra-sobra na po. Dapat 15 percent pa lang, terminated na ang contract,” Pimentel said.

(That is already 82 percent. That is too much. At 15 percent, his contract should have been terminated.)

Guevarra added that her office has issued a notice to terminate and show cause order to Tayag. RALPH EDWIN U. VILLANUEVA

 

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