In a report released recently, state auditors recommended that the construction of 18 buildings, each composed of three storys, on a 3,000-square meter property be stopped to give way to soil testing procedures.
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COA questions P414 million housing project on hazardous land
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - June 20, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Audit (COA) has questioned a decision of the Social Housing Finance Corp. (SHFC) to construct a P414-million housing project at a former dumpsite and potentially hazardous property in Valenzuela City.

In a report released recently, state auditors recommended that the construction of 18 buildings, each composed of three storys, on a 3,000-square meter property be stopped to give way to soil testing procedures.

The property was purchased for P51.54 million for the relocation of 864 families living in danger zones of Barangays Maysan, Malanday, Bagbaguin, Dalandanan and Marulas.

The COA said that if the soil test result would show that the property is not suitable for the housing project, the SHFC should require the refund of P100.33 million that has been spent for the construction.

The SHFC, a subsidiary of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., was created in 2005 to handle social housing programs for low-income families.

The COA report said the project was approved and partially paid for in 2016 despite a geo-hazard map showing the property is susceptible to floods, located within a tsunami inundated area, susceptible to moderate liquefaction and not suitable for relocation.

State auditors said the SHFC is tasked to ensure delivery and management of safe, affordable and decent permanent housing solutions for informal settlers living in danger areas and waterways in Metro Manila.

Records show the project was supposed to be completed within 12 months or by August last year.

An ocular inspection conducted in February this year showed the project was far from completed and the essential developments such as road networks, water layout and electricity have yet to be done.

“At the project site, a reinforced concrete foundation at ground level was constructed for 12 buildings only. Columns, footing tie beams, backfilling and concrete slabs were constructed for nine buildings, while only columns and footing tie beams could be seen for the other three buildings,” the COA said in the report.

“Since the area was a former dumpsite of the municipality, construction of the remaining six buildings has not yet been started due to difficulty of excavating the land to reach the original soil,” it added.

The audit team said the construction was temporarily stopped in November last year to give way to soil quality and boring tests. The construction has not resumed as of Dec. 31, 2017.  

COMMISSION ON AUDIT SOCIAL HOUSING FINANCE CORP.
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