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Gov’t sues personalities behind housing anomalies

TACLOBAN CITY – The Duterte administration is firm in running after officials involved in multimillion-peso anomalies over the implementation of the community mortgage program meant for victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda in this city.

On Friday, the Social Housing Finance Corp. (SHFC) filed a case before the City Prosecutor’s Office against officials of Brigham Estate Home Owners Association for failing to remit payments of thousands of housing beneficiaries, representing their monthly amortization.

The beneficiaries had a dialogue with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy, who led SHFC activities here.

“The President is very concerned with housing projects since it has been five years after the disaster. While we file cases against corrupt officials, we have to work on completing housing projects,” Badoy said during the housing site visit.

Next week, the SHFC will file a case against Community Mortgage Program (CMP) or so-called “urban poor” community housing organizer Siony Sia and her cohorts in the SHFC for overpricing of land acquisition, non-remittance of payments, and illegal collection of fees from million-peso funds are unaccounted (for). President Rodrigo Duterte wants to punish those behind this corruption activity. We hope to file cases within the year so we can take over these projects and complete these projects within the term of the President,” said SHFC Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling in a press briefing Friday night.

Cabling, a former councilor of Davao City, who handled the city council’s housing committee, said five SHFC lawyers have been coming to the city to gather evidences and talk to victims.

“We want to make sure the case is very tight because we really want to serve justice to ‘Yolanda’ victims. Let us fight corruption together as we work to strengthen the project to make houses truly livable, adequate, and inclusive for poor Filipinos,” Cabling said.

Aside from Brigham Estate in Bagacay village, the SHFC is also investigating six other housing sites, also handled by Mineland Shelter Foundation owned by Sia.

There are about 2,500 beneficiaries in these anomalous housing projects in the city, according to SHFC.

Sia, whose accreditation as mobilizer has been revoked by SHFC, cannot be reached for comment, but in earlier media interviews, she denied all accusations.

Under CMP, the SHFC buys the lot for accredited housing association members. The beneficiaries will pay to SHFC in more than two decades.

Under its loan entitlement, the SHFC raised the loan package from PHP165,000 to PHP250,000. Of the amount, PHP100,000 is for lot acquisition, PHP30,000 for site development, and PHP120 for housing materials.

The loan is payable in 25 years with a monthly amortization of PHP474 and at an annual interest rate of 6 percent based on the outstanding balance.

The community-based housing project is managed by the homeowners’ association, with a CMP mobilizer assisting the community associations in availing of the program for their lot acquisition, site development and housing fund assistance with the SHFC.

Cabling said SHFC has established measures to strengthen communication between the agency and the communities, through decentralization and streamlining of its processes to expedite shelter assistance to the underprivileged. PNA



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