COA flags housing project in danger zone
The Commission on Audit (COA) has flagged the failure to utilize P350 million in funds transferred to the Social Housing Finance Corp. (SHFC) for the construction of decent and safe housing for informal settlers.
At the same time, the COA also called out the SHFC for approving the construction of a P414.05-million relocation site in an area at risk of flooding and liquefaction.
In its 2017 annual audit report, the COA said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the SHFC have yet to execute a trust agreement for the use of the funds sourced from the 2015 budget.
This was despite the fact that the SHFC received the funds from the DILG on Sept. 28, 2016. The funds were meant to assist informal settler families living along waterways in Manila, including Estero de San Miguel, Estero de San Sebastian and Estero de Quiapo.
Since the SHFC could not implement the project without the trust agreement, the agency had to temporarily invest the fund in high-yield savings accounts with the Land Bank of the Philippines—“defeating the purpose for which the trust fund was created,” according to the COA.
Meanwhile, the COA called on the SHFC to test the soil of the P414.05-million high-density housing project—and require the refund of the P100.33 million already paid to the contractor if the results were not favorable.
The 18-building complex at Barangay Malinta, Valenzuela City, was supposed to house 864 families from danger zones at the barangays of Maysan, Malanday, Bagbaguin, Dalandanan and Marulas in Valenzuela City.
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