PICE, NHA-Manila to probe Z3R house collapse Print
Friday, 23 February 2018 16:35

The City Government has asked National Housing Authority (NHA) general manager Marcelo Escalada Jr. to conduct an independent investigation, together with the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) Zambo Chapter, on the Tulungatung houses built under the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R) following the collapse of one unit last February 14.

Mayor Beng Climaco, who visited the site with a technical team over the weekend, described the quality of materials and housing units constructed at the Tulungatung resettlement site as a “blatant violation of standards of safety of victims of the 2013 siege.”

“The City Government looks with disfavor on the job that was done in Tulungatung,” the mayor said, recalling that a similar situation was discovered in Lustre, Sta. Catalina over a year ago that resulted to the retrofitting of the housing units.

She added: “So we are calling on the NHA, unless they do something about it, we will have necessary cases of liability against the contractor and all those responsible for this project because this is an injustice to the people who have been victimized not only once but twice.”

Meanwhile, personnel from the Housing and Land Management Division, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) and City Engineer’s Office in coordination with the Tulungatung Barangay Council on Wednesday morning visited the Tulungatung Resettlement site to look into the condition of the 326 families currently staying in the area. The svisit will help determine evacuation proceedings to ensure safety and security of the residents.

An adjacent housing site, constructed under the Bottom-up Budgeting (BUB) program of the government through the DSWD, is eyed as the temporary shelter of the families.

The Tulungatung Resettlement site has a total of 383 housing units and was constructed by Bill Rey Construction. Of the total number, 57 including the unit that collapsed last week, are unoccupied. And out of the 57, 23 are for cancellation of award as the awardees-beneficiaries have not occupied the houses since their turnover last September 9, 2016.

NHA Zamboanga head Engr. Al Indanan said the Tulungatung Housing project is under process for project termination pending compliance of NHA final acceptance findings. The contractor still needs to adequately respond to the letter signed by the GM Escalada regarding compliance with these findings of the NHA Final Acceptance Committee.  As it is, he said, the contractor is still liable as the project is still under warranty period.

According to Indanan, as early as September 2017, NHA general manager Escalada learned about the deficiencies and has acted on the same. He promised to submit the NHA Contractors’ performance Evaluation Report to the LIAC for information. (Sheila Covarrubias)