PACC seeks probe of NHA execs over Yolanda shelter mess

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    THE Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) yesterday asked the Office of the Ombudsman to file criminal and administrative charges against National Housing Authority (NHA) officials over alleged irregularities in the implementation of the Yolanda Permanent Housing Program (YPHP).

    PACC chairman Dante Jimenez endorsed the results of the commission’s fact-finding investigation to Ombudsman Samuel Martires, saying it has found prima facie evidence that 12 NHA executives favored construction firm JC Tayag Builders Inc. (JCTBI) which was awarded contracts totaling P741.53 million.

    The PACC said the contractor “fraudulently misrepresented its technical capacity” to corner nine projects under the YPHP involving the construction of 2,559 housing units for Eastern Visayas residents who must be relocated out of identified flood-prone areas.

    The shelter project was launched in the aftermath of the November 2013 devastation wreaked by typhoon Yolanda in Region 8 resulting in the loss of 6,000 lives and billions of pesos in property damage.

    According to the PACC, the contractor was given notice to proceed in 2015 but was able to complete only 36 units equivalent to 1.41 percent of its commitment by the time the contract was terminated in November 2017.

    “JCTBI had failed to perform its obligation in the contract, despite receiving at least 15 percent or roughly P111.23 million for the corresponding mobilization activities,” Jimenez said.

    He added that the same contractor was tagged during the inquiry of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development two years ago but no case has been filed against it.
    The PACC investigation implicated former NHA general manager Sinforoso Pagunsan, assistant GM and Bids and Awards Committee chairman Froilan Kampitan, BAC vice chair Ma. Alma Valenciano, BAC member and NHA Project Implementing Team (NPIT)-C head Loran Seraspe, BAC member Eleanor Balatbat, BAC member and NPIT-A head Susana Nonato, BAC member Romuel Alimboyao, upervising engineer and Technical Working Group (TWG) member Alvin Rey Calvario, TWG member Grave Guevarra, BAC 2 chairperson Victor Balba, BAC vice chair Felicisimo Lazarte Jr., and BAC member Ma. Magdalena Siacon.

    It sought possible filing of criminal action for violations of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act as well as administrative offenses under RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.