Palace endorses congressional probe on Yolanda housing scandal

Published April 17, 2018, 3:01 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang is amenable to the proposed congressional inquiry into the alleged substandard houses built for the survivors of super-typhoon Yolanda.

The second phase of the low-cost housing project of the government in Tacloban, Leyte. (Johndel Semilla/Manila Bulletin)
The second phase of the low-cost housing project of the government in Tacloban, Leyte. (Johndel Semilla | Manila Bulletin File Photo)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque acknowledged that there has been a huge scandal in the Yolanda resettlement project implemented by the past administration, citing complaints about how the houses were built.

Senator J.V. Ejercito earlier intended to file a resolution calling for an investigation into the reported poorly built houses for the families affected by Yolanda survivors in Eastern Visayas. Ejercito, chairman of the Senate committee on urban planning, housing and resettlement, said they could recommend charges if negligence is found in the implementation of the resettlement program.

“Sang-ayon po tayo diyan. Talagang napakalaking eskandalo po ang nangyari diyan sa Yolanda resettlement na iyan [We support that. There was really huge scandal that happened in the Yolanda resettlement project],” Roque said in a radio interview.

“At siyempre po iyan iyong kumbaga eh proyektong ipinagmamalaki noong tumakbong presidente ang Mar Roxas pero ang dami nga pong natatanggap na reklamo [Former presidential candidate Mar Roxas took pride of this project but we have received many complaints about it],” he added.

Roque hinted that the government’s housing program for the displaced families in Marawi appeared well-built compared to those constructed for the Yolanda victims by the past administration.

“Nagkaroon ng sakuna na Marawi at kinakailangang ibangon muli ang Marawi. Gumawa tayo ng mga tahanan [There was a tragedy in Marawi and we needed to rebuild Marawi so we started building houses],” he said.

[Ikumpara na lang natin ang tahanan ni Digong sa tahanan noong nakalipas na administrasyon. Kaya po welcome natin iyang imbestigasyon na iyan [Let’s just compare the houses built by Digong to the houses by the past administration. That’s why we welcome the investigation about it],” he said.