NHA: Contractor behind ‘substandard’ housing can’t bid for Yolanda projects

Patty Pasion
NHA: Contractor behind ‘substandard’ housing can’t bid for Yolanda projects

Bobbit Lim

JC Tayag Builders is accused of constructing substandard houses for survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)

MANILA, Philippines – The National Housing Authority (NHA) said on Tuesday, November 7, that contractor JC Tayag Builders will not be able to bid for the remaining projects in the post-Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) housing program.

The contractor is likely to face charges of perjury and syndicated estafa after making false statements during a House of Representatives probe into the allegedly substandard houses built for Yolanda survivors in Balangiga, Eastern Samar.

Contractor Juanito Tayag was called to the congressional investigation following the visit of House committee on housing and urban development chairperson Alfredo Benitez to 3 housing sites.

Benitez and other lawmakers met with subcontractor Camilo Salazar who claimed that Tayag delivered rusty 8 millimeter (mm) steel rods when he ordered the 10 mm variation. 

During the hearing, Tayag denied the use of 8 mm rods and instead said under oath that 10 mm rods were used in the construction. 

The NHA declined to comment further on the case, saying it will address the matter in the proper forum.

But Engineer Grace Guevarra, one of the project heads, gave an assurance that contractors will not be paid until construction defects are corrected.

“It’s a mass housing project. We can’t skirt problems in construction. That is what we call construction defects. These are subject to rectification before we pay [the contractor],” she said. 

The NHA said it has not encountered issues with other contractors except for the usual cases where it had to cancel the award due to failure of a contractor to submit documentary requirements. 

Out of the 205,128 housing units needed, 95% or 194,454 have already been bidded out to contractors as of October 30 this year. (READ: Malacañang on 4th Yolanda anniversary: Rehab delays unacceptable) – Rappler.com

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Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.