Alarm sounded over NHA housing projects

By Ellson Quismorio

Davao City 1st district Rep. Karlo Nograles is questioning the standards of the National Housing Authority (NHA) — or lack thereof — after seeing viral videos of supposedly substandard housing projects in Ormoc City, Leyte.

2017 GAA PLENARY/26SEP2016 At the Plenary Hall of the House of Representatives in Quezon City, Appropriations Committee Chairman Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles gives his sponsorship speech at the first Plenary Session for the 2017 General Appropriations Act. MB PHOTO/FEDERICO CRUZ Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles

"The NHA should be questioned for allowing this to happen. This makes me wonder if the NHA's standards for choosing contractors for projects are really that bad," said Nograles, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

The lawmaker was referring to a series of Facebook videos dated September 24, 2018, which showed Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez brimming with disappointment as he inspected a housing unit intended for the July 2017 earthquake victims in Barangay Gaas.

Mayor Gomez is seen in the video asking how the NHA could have allowed the use of rickety hollow blocks for the project.

He said the NHA could have done a better job in inspecting the materials procured by the private contractor before they were utilized.

He observed that the walls for the housing units were created by stacking the weak-looking hollow blocks on top of each other in straight columns instead of the interlocking weave method that would make for a sturdier structure.

"By the looks of it, those walls might fall when hit by Mayweather's cotton ball punches. Dapat maski sintindi ng left hook ni Pacquiao ang tumama, hindi pa rin matitibag ang mga pader (The walls should be able to withstand the impact of a Pacquiao left hook)," Nograles said.