Philippines Report

Sloppy housing for calamity victims angers Lacson; Buwis natin pinagawa diyan!

“Nakakagalit!” This was how Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson described the spate of sloppy – and potentially deadly – housing sites for victims of recent calamities in parts of Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Lacson said prosecuting the jailing the contractors and officials concerned will be the only way to correct the situation.

“Unang una buwis natin yan. Ang problema kasi sa atin, hanggang walang nakikitang nakukulong na kontratista at kasabwat nila sa mga ahensya, di mako-correct (That is taxpayers’ money being wasted. But until we see erring contractors and officials being put behind bars, it is unlikely the situation will be corrected),” he said in an interview on “Failon Ngayon,” which aired last Saturday a documentary on the housing woes hounding those affected by recent typhoons.

The reported problems include the use of substandard materials, questionable workmanship, and shoddy plumbing. In some cases, the housing sites were located in landslide-prone areas.

In many cases, residents chose to sleep outside their houses for fear the structures may collapse. In others, residents complained of water seeping into the walls.

Lacson served as Presidential Assistant on Recovery and Rehabilitation to coordinate efforts to help Yolanda victims.

At the time, he stressed to those involved in housing projects to make sure the materials to be used are up to specifications.

Also, Lacson said a prospective new department for human settlements should make sure those staffing it will not engage in corruption.

“Sa akin walang masama sa national housing. Ang masama ang mga tao na nag-implement … Huwag natin sisihin ang ahensya mismo kundi ang nasa ahensya mga tao na ang tatakaw, di alam paano hinto sa pagnanakaw dahil silaw na silaw sila sa pera,” he said.

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