NHA to rebid P800-m ‘Yolanda’ housing project

posted October 11, 2017 at 12:01 am by Maricel Cruz

The government will rebid the allegedly anomalous P800-million housing projects intended for Yolanda victims, a National Housing Authority official told lawmakers on Tuesday.

At a congressional hearing conducted by the joint House committees on housing and urban development and on good government and public accountability, chaired by Reps. Alfredo Benitez of Negros Occidental and Johnny Pimentel of Surigao del Sur, NHA assistant general manager Froilan Kampitan said the rebidding of the contract was needed to fast-track the implementation of the “Yolanda” housing projects which said to have used substandard construction materials.

“We just need to rebid it to a new contractor. We are trying to locate some properties already that are available [under the contract of JC Tayag Builders Inc.,” Kampitan said during the hearing.

Kampitan said the NHA will issue a notice of termination of contract to JC Tayag Builders Inc., operated by JC Tayag, the main contractor of the government’s “Yolanda” housing project in Eastern Samar.

Rep. Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar earlier filed the resolution on the controversy.

“Procurement policies, land acquisition issues and the many permits and clearances needed to start certain projects have been cited as among the primary reasons that slow down the implementation of the resettlement projects,” Evardone said.

In the same hearing, Tayag denied anew that his construction firm used substandard materials and thus endangering the lives of the families and victim of Super Typhoon “Yolanda.” 

Tayag’s subcontractor Camilo Salazar accused his principal of using substandard steel and bars for the construction of 2,000 housing units for “Yolanda” victims in Balangiga, Hernani and Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

Salazar alleged that Tayag used 8-millimeter steel rods in the construction instead of the required specification of 10 millimeters.

Earlier, Benitez’s committee conducted a series of on-site hearings on the issue and validated Salazar’s allegations against Tayag.

Benitez said his panel’s inspection team uncovered the size of the reinforcing steel bars averaged at 8 millimeters; while it also discovered that Tayag also used undersized bars of 12 millimeters, which is below the requirement of 16 millimeters.

Benitez also said lawmakers will recommend the filing of perjury, syndicated estafa and plunder charges against Tayag and other NHA officials over the controversy.