Palace backs Singson over 'Yolanda' bunkhouses

by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 07 2014 06:03 PM | Updated as of Jan 08 2014 02:03 AM

MANILA - Malacañang is satisfied with the explanation of Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson over the alleged overpricing in the construction of bunkhouses for victims of typhoon "Yolanda."

"Ganap at buo naman iyong pagpapaliwanag ni Secretary Rogelio Singson kahapon tungkol doon sa bunkhouse building program, and I believe he clarified sufficiently the concepts of what is underspecs or subpar or what is overpriced," Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said.

Coloma said Cabinet members coordinate with each other as part of efforts to rebuild communities affected by "Yolanda."

"Kung naalala niyo, pati iyong pagpapalibing doon sa mga remaining cadaver ay tumulong na rin si Secretary (Panfilo) Lacson in terms of interagency coordination. Nag-uusap naman po lahat ng mga Cabinet member. The Cabinet members are working as a team, comparing notes, exchanging information, dahil iisang effort lang naman po ito, and we should not be derailed from the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts because there is so much to be done and there is so much at stake," he said.

Rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson earlier said he received information there could be a collusion between the contractors and a politician so they can pocket a 35-percent kickback on the construction of the shelters.

He declined to identify the politician.

Lacson said they will file a case against the politician before the Ombudsman once they gather enough evidence.

"Kasi noong nalaman kong may anomalya, pinagbigay kong alam agad kay [Public Works] Secretary (Rogelio) Singson. Only one word to describe yun ganong tao. Amoral."

Singson confirmed that Lacson had informed him about possible corruption in the construction of the bunkhouses for "Yolanda" survivors.

However, he denied a Philippine Daily Inquirer report that said some of the 222 bunkhouses being built in typhoon-hit areas are overpriced.

"It is not overpriced. If it is overpriced, the following day I will submit my resignation to President Aquino," he said.

He, however, conceded that some of the structures might be "under specifications" - meaning that contractors did not build the structures according to specifications provided by the Department of Public Works and Highways. With a report by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News