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Nation

NHA told to fast-track Yolanda housing project

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Nine years after Super Typhoon Yolanda devastated several areas in the Visayas, thousands of displaced families have yet to be provided permanent shelters by the National Housing Authority (NHA), according to the Commission on Audit (COA).

In a 2021 annual audit report on the NHA, state auditors noted that of the 212,618 target housing units under the government’s Yolanda Permanent Housing Program, only 73 percent or 156,219 units have been completed as of Dec. 31, 2021.

The remaining 56,399 units are undergoing construction or have been suspended, terminated or have yet to be started.

The audit body said this low project completion happened despite the launch of the housing program more than eight years ago or on Aug. 1, 2014.

The housing program was part of the Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan of former president Benigno Aquino III, and was adopted and continued by his successor Rodrigo Duterte.

Of the total target housing units, 194,918 units were supposed to be undertaken by the NHA and the remaining 17,700 by its partner local government units (LGUs).

“It is worth emphasizing that funds have been with the NHA for seven years, yet Typhoon Yolanda victims are still wanting for a place to call home and live decently as they did before the calamity struck,” the report read.

The COA said the NHA did not impose liquidated damages against the erring contractors, except in two of the 63 delayed projects.

In a reply, the NHA said its concerned regional offices have sent demand letters to contractors regarding the advances made on terminated projects, and forfeiture letters to insurance companies of the contractors’ bonds for each project.

NHA

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