Ejercito finds gov't housing in Bulacan too small, eyes charges vs ex-housing execs, contractors

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 15 2017 06:23 PM

MANILA - Sen. JV Ejercito is looking at the possible filing of charges against “some erring contractors and housing officials" in a draft committee report as he found government housing units in Bulacan, Cavite, La Union and Rizal too small during an inspection.

Ejercito, chair of the Senate committee on housing, urban planning and resettlement, said he “smells something” about the construction of 11 out of 18 socialized housing projects in Pandi, Bulacan, which he described to be “like a dove’s house.”

The senator said the big question he wants answered is why Pandi, Bulacan hosted 11 out of 18 housing projects despite the town’s unpreparedness as a site.

Ejercito said he feels certain quarters made money out of the projects.

“Bakit napakaliit na lugar ang pinaglagyan? Ano ba ang meron diyan?” he said.

Ejercito said he would call for a separate investigation about the performance of the previous administration’s housing program, to be followed by his committee’s recommendation on who should be held liable if anomaly is found.

The lawmaker said future state housing units to be built for military and police personnel would be larger, with lot areas of 40 sqms, 60 sqms and 80 sqms. 

Meanwhile, some 57,000 housing units 24 sqms in size will soon be “redistributed” to qualified local government personnel, teachers and other public servants with low monthly income.

Both houses of Congress are expected to issue an “authorization” to housing agencies concerned— the National Housing Authority and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council—to fast track the distribution process, the senator said. 

In April, members of urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) occupied housing units in Bulacan meant for police and military officers. 

Ejercito said Kadamay members will not be part of the priority list for the redistribution of housing units.