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‘Binay has yet to show proof of accomplishments in housing sector’

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino clarified his previous commendation of Vice President Jejomar Binay, saying that the former housing czar who had since openly criticized the administration for its alleged insensitivity and ineptness still has to show proof of his accomplishments.

“Under my watch, I have yet to see anything that he (Binay) did as head of the housing sector,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel “Talkback with Tina” last Tuesday night.

Prior to his resignation as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) last June, Binay served as the administration’s housing czar and presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers’ affairs for the last five years since 2010.

“There are no allegations about him doing anything while serving as a housing czar in my Cabinet,” Aquino recounted. When pressed if he thinks Binay did nothing as housing czar, he replied: “Knock on wood.”

Binay has been criticizing the administration following his resignation from the Cabinet.

He said the administration was inept and uncaring and had failed to address poverty, unemployment and hunger.

But in an interview with reporters in October 2014, Aquino, then still in good terms with Binay, said he was glad that the Vice President was doing a good job and was going after crooks involved in the administration of his predecessor Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“So, his (Binay’s) assignments he has done. After doing his assignments, should I be castigating him? I don’t think that’s proper,” Aquino said, in effect drawing the line between anomalies Binay may have allegedly committed when he was still mayor.

In February 2013, or months before the mid-term senatorial elections, Aquino observed then that several sectors were apparently out to drive a wedge between them as the elections drew nearer.

“In fairness to him (Binay), he has done his job especially among our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers),” Aquino said of Binay, whom his late mother former President Corazon Aquino appointed as officer-in-charge mayor of Makati City after the 1986 EDSA People Power revolt.

Binay’s camp hit President Aquino yesterday for saying that the Vice President did nothing as housing czar for five years.

“With all due respect, the President may have forgotten that not long ago, he himself credited VP Binay for achievements in the housing sector,” said Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesperson for political affairs.

Contrary to Aquino’s claim, shelter agencies provided house and lot packages, lots or houses to 792,014 families valued at P268.826 billion under Binay’s term as housing czar, according to Quicho.

It was also during his term that Pag-IBIG became the biggest key shelter agency with assets reaching more than P376 billion, he said.

“It (Pag-IBIG) is now one of the most profitable government corporations in the country with housing loan collection hitting P2.7 billion – all without increasing its monthly contribution, which remains at P100 since the 1980s. Such accomplishments are not easy to forget,” Quicho said.

The housing sector, under the stewardship of Binay, provided direct housing assistance to more than half a million low-income and informal settlers families, he said.– With Helen Flores

ACIRC AQUINO BINAY GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO HOUSING HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT COORDINATING COUNCIL IN FEBRUARY MAKATI CITY NEWS CHANNEL PRESIDENT AQUINO VICE PRESIDENT
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