NHA to rebid Yolanda housing project; contractor under fire

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10:40 PM October 10th, 2017

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By: Inquirer.net, October 10th, 2017 10:40 PM

NHA Regional Director Rizaldy Mediavillo explains why the agency did not disclose right away that the steel bars used in a Yolanda resettlement project was undersized. Contractor Juanito Tayag of J.C. Tayag Builders, Inc., looks on during a joint inquiry by the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017.
/Inquirer photo

The National Housing Authority (NHA) is set to terminate the contract of a construction firm that allegedly used substandard materials in the houses meant for the resettlement of families in Eastern Samar that were displaced by Super Typhoon Yolanda (internationally known as Haiyan) in 2013.

A notice to terminate and a show-cause order was issued to J.C. Tayag Builders, Inc., back in August, NHA Visayas Management Office Officer-in-charge Grace Guevarra said on Tuesday during the joint inquiry of the House of Representatives’ housing and good government committees on Tuesday.

NHA Assistant General Manager Froilan Kampitan added that the affected projects in Eastern Samar could still be completed even though the houses were built using 8-mm steel rods instead of the 16-mm specification.

“We just need to rebid it to a new contractor,” he said.

Kampitan also stressed that “no payment has been made, no acceptance of the project has been done,” amid the issues hounding J.C. Tayag’s resettlement projects.

But J.C. Tayag owner Juanito Tayag maintained during the hearing that he did not know that undersized bars were used in the construction.

Tayag already testified under oath in a September 18 hearing that substandard materials were not used in the housing projects. But a subsequent inspection uncovered the use of undersized rods, prompting housing committee chair Rep. Albee Benitez to say on September 26 that he planned to file perjury charges against Tayag.

The contractor, however, stuck to his claim during the Tuesday hearing and said that “based on our records, we did not use 8-mm (steel rods).”

He even raised the possibility of an inside job.

“In truth, even we are investigating it because we do not know why there were 8-mm. We really did not buy and use 8-mm,” he said.

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