Zamboanga folk: Aquino gave wrong info on housing in Sona | Inquirer News
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Zamboanga folk: Aquino gave wrong info on housing in Sona

/ 09:32 PM July 29, 2014

President Aquino deliving his Sona on Monday, July 28, 2014. AP

ZAMBOANGA CITY—Lilia Fuentevella, 74, rushed to Martha Drive in Barangay (village) Santa Catalina here on Tuesday morning, the day after President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (Sona).

“The President said we can return to our homes next month,” Fuentevella, a mother of three children, told the Inquirer.

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The President, in his Sona on Monday, said that “by this coming August, affected families could begin to move into permanent housing units in Martha Drive Subdivision.”

But Fuentevella found a pile of hollow blocks and a hill of sand and gravel in a place where her house once stood.

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“It could be August next year,” Fuentevella, who now lives in a shanty in nearby Lustre Street, said.

“The President must have been joking. It’s better if he comes here to see for himself,” Theresa Maru, another resident, said.

Maru is considered the leader of 47 families who availed of the government’s housing units offered by the National Housing Authority (NHA).

“As of today, only 35 units are being constructed and if you look at every unit, it will take two months or more before we can move in,” Maru said.

Ariel Capayado, one of the carpenters at the Martha Drive construction project, told the Inquirer that they started working on June 8 and that it would take a month or two to finish a unit of a duplex-type house.

All 35 housing units are still in their skeletal form—no roof, no floor, no windows and no doors. “These will be completed in December or next year,” Capayado said.

Jimmy Villaflores, the barangay chair of Santa Catalina, said the President gave the “wrong information to the Filipino people” during his Sona.

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“Or, maybe he was provided with wrong data by the NHA,” Villaflores said.

“It could be that the NHA wanted to impress the President by submitting a false report,” Villaflores told the Inquirer in an interview after a tour on Martha Drive.

Housing units in Martha Drive would be completed in 100 days, said Engineer Al Kwarizimi Indanan, district manager of the NHA, in his report last week of June.

In his report in a press briefing last June, the P9.19-million Martha Drive project of 47 duplex units started construction in May and will be completed in August.

Indanan, in a text message to the Inquirer, said he “hoped to complete the project by end of August 2014.”

Villaflores said the construction was recently “subcontracted to another firm.”

Martha Drive, which is under Barangay Santa Catalina, was one of the villages ravaged by the fighting between government forces and Moro National Liberation Front members in September last year.

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