The Commission on Audit (COA) has urged the National Housing Authority (NHA) to fast-track the completion of housing units for survivors of super typhoon Yolanda as only 73 percent of the targeted 212,618 houses have been completed, 8 years since the tragedy struck.
State auditors noted that as of the end of 2021, only 156,219 housing units have been constructed due to construction delays, low occupancy rate, and slow pace of turnover to beneficiaries.
It was also noted in the report that out of the total housing units targeted to be completed, 17,700 are to be implemented by local government units while the remaining 194,918 are to be undertaken by the NHA.
Auditors said that 63 projects with a total cost of at least P9.898 billion were not completed, nine projects amounting to P2.745 billion were suspended, 46 projects costing P6.965 billion, 2 projects totaling P115.710 million have not been started.
“Some projects were rescinded due to a variety of reasons, including an unresolved boundary dispute, tenancy issue, unsuitable project site due to the presence of mangroves, the project sites are timberland and the contractors’ failure to secure certification from the PNP (Philippine National Police) regarding the peace and order situation at the project site,” the audit team noted.
The audit team also raised its concern that the non-occupancy of competed housing units may result in their fast deterioration due to non-maintenance and exposure to risk of invasion by informal settlers.
“It is worth emphasizing that funds have been with the NHA for seven years, yet Typhoon Yolanda victims are still wanting for a place to call home and live decently as they did before the calamity struck their communities,” the audit team said.
According to the report, the NHA management agreed to the recommendation of the audit team that housing units must be immediately completed, as well as the close monitoring of timelines of contractors and imposition and collection of liquidated damages when projects are not completed within the specified contract duration.
The NHA management also told the audit team that demand letters have been sent to regional offices relative to advances made by contractors on terminated projects.
A copy of the audit report was received by former officer-in-charge Maria Magdalena De Leon-Siacon on July 29, 2022.