Duterte anti-corruption body eyes raps vs 12 NHA officials over Yolanda housing


Posted at Oct 09 2019 04:02 PM

MANILA - The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) recommended Wednesday the filing of criminal and administrative complaints against 12 housing officials over alleged anomalies in resettlement projects for survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, the country's deadliest storm.

The National Housing Authority had granted contracts collectively worth P741.53 million to JC Tayag Builders for the construction of 2,559 houses for Yolanda victims in Eastern Visayas, noted PACC Chairman Dante Jimenez.

"Only 36 housing units — or merely 1.41 percent of the awarded units were completed when all the contracts were terminated in Nov. 27, 2017," he said in a statement.

The agency has not released names of those charged.

The issue was first uncovered in a September 2017 hearing of the House of Representatives urban development committee, but "no legal actions have been taken" against the contractor, said Jimenez.

The PACC, he said, found evidence that 12 NHA officials gave "unwarranted benefits, advantage and preference" to JC Tayag Builders, which "was found to have fraudulently misrepresented its technical capacity."

The commission recommended that the 12 NHA officials be charged with graft, and violation of the procurement law and the code of conduct for public officials before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Then the strongest storm to ever hit land, Yolanda in November 2013 left more than 7,360 people dead or missing across central Philippines with its tsunami-like storm surges wiping out communities and triggering a global humanitarian response.

Survivors and aid groups say rehabilitation has been slow, especially for the million families who lost their homes.

Of the target 205,128 permanent houses for those living in so-called danger zones, only 100,709 have been built, President Rodrigo Duterte's government said last year.

Relocation sites built about an hour away from the low-lying coastal city also lacked a steady supply of electricity, drinking water, and jobs, authorities added.

-- With reports from Agence France-Presse; Raya Capulong, ABS-CBN News