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‘P12 million spent for collapsed foot bridge’ in Zamboanga City

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
âP12 million spent for collapsed foot bridgeâ in Zamboanga City
“I was surprised that it cost P12 million,” Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez, chairman of the House committee on housing and urban development, said yesterday.

MANILA, Philippines — The government spent around P12 million for the wooden foot bridge at a resettlement site in Zamboanga City that collapsed during an inspection of last week.

“I was surprised that it cost P12 million,” Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez, chairman of the House committee on housing and urban development, said yesterday.

 Benitez, Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat, Mayor Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and local officials of the National Housing Authority (NHA) fell into murky water when the footbridge collapsed.

Benitez vowed to conduct an investigation into the incident when Congress resumes session. 

“The rotten wooden foot bridge will be the subject of the investigation. We did not only slip, we fell,” he said. 

 The resettlement site is for victims of the Zamboanga siege in 2013.

“They have become victims twice over. First, by the force of nature and second, by the force of man’s indifference and greed,” Benitez said, referring to allegations that substandard  materials were used for the housing project.

Benitez vowed to look into all projects undertaken by the NHA for substandard materials and construction, among other irregularities.

P1-billion budget

Citing the computation of the NHA, Lobregat said around P1 billion would be needed to replace all wooden foot bridges in resettlement sites.

He said there are around 25 kilometers of wooden foot bridges in seven resettlement sites.

 The NHA said more than P367 million would be needed to replace main foot bridges and around P600 million for those connecting houses on stilts. 

“We are after of the safety of the victims of the Zamboanga siege... Definitely, those wooden bridges will have to be replaced,” Lobregat said.

He said the foot bridges should be replaced with concrete to make it resilient to wear and tear. – Roel Pareño

ALFREDO BENITEZ

HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

WOODEN FOOT BRIDGE

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