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NHA in hot water over ‘Yolanda’ housing

By: Ellson Quismorio

The National Housing Association (NHA) is in hot water for failing to act on the use of substandard materials for housing projects in “Yolanda”-ravaged Eastern Samar.

Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez, chairman of the Committee on Housing and Urban Development, said during a joint House inquiry yesterday that someone must answer for this very disturbing negligence on the part of the NHA.

The hearing was conducted along with the Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability, although the Benitez panel began its probe on the controversial construction project last September.

“There seems to be a failure on NHA’s monitoring system since the fact remains, for nine months…you told this hearing that you knew nine months before that substandard materials had been utilized. But no rectification, no action has been taken after nine months after this hearing discovered and exposed (it),” Benitez told attending NHA officials led by Assistant General Manager (AGM) Froilan Kampitan.

NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. – scolded by congressmen during last month’s hearing for being too lax on housing project contractor JC Tayag Builders as far as meeting targets go – did not attend yesterday’s hearing.