ZAMBOANGA CITY - Several government officials got firsthand experience on Thursday over alleged substandard housing projects for survivors of the 2013 Zamboanga siege.
Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez, Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat, Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and National Housing Authority (NHA) personnel fell into murky waters of Sitio Hong Kong, Barangay Rio Hondo when a wooden footbridge gave way.
In light of the minor mishap, Benitez, chairperson of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development, has called for an investigation into the alleged shoddy government projects.
He said the incident is a clear manifestation on the poor quality of materials used. He added that it is not an isolated case.
Benitez and Lobregat sustained minor scratches from the fall.
The Negrense lawmaker has asked NHA all records pertaining the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R) project.
The awarding of multiple projects to a single contractor is one issue he would like to delve into.
Bidders, he added, must observe the allowable Net Financial Contracting Capacity (NFCC) per project.
Benitez will also invite the Local Inter-Agency Committee (LIAC), NHA and other concerned agencies into the inquiry.
LIAC, chaired by Climaco-Salazar, was formed to monitor Z3R project.
Meanwhile, repair work is underway for the footbridge after the local government of Zamboanga has tasked its city engineer's office to look into it.
Locals had to ride a motorized banca to get to the mainland. - report from RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News