No overpricing of bunkhouses for Yolanda victims- Malacanang
by FFE PH News Staff
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson denied the report that temporary shelters built by the government for the Yolanda survivors in typhoon-ravaged areas are overpriced and said that he will resign if it is proven otherwise.
Singson’s clarification came hours after a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) saying that certain bunkhouses should have cost less since they d0 not contain kitchens, toilets, and showers.
Singson said that overpricing and “underspecs”, or contractors not following specifications given to them, are different.
Based on the specifications by the DPWH, bunkhouses should also include toilets, showers, and a common cooking area. In a report by PDI however, at least one town in Eastern Samar do not have the said amenities in their bunkhouses.
“…There might be possibilities that some of the contractors may have not followed the specifications,” Singson said during a press briefing.
Pointing out that the government has not yet paid the contractors, Singson said that they will not pay the said contractors unless the specifications are followed.
“If contactors did not follow specifications that we gave them, they will not be paid unless they correct or rectify to meet our standards,” Singson said.
On the issue that a unit is too small for a family and does not follow “internationally recognized standards”, Singson said they already addressed the problem by adjusting the number of families to live in one bunkhouse.
“Instead of 24 families in a bunkhouse, we’re reducing them to 12 families. So now, one family will occupy a bigger unit,” Singson said.
From an 8.64 sqm per unit, the new design will now have an area of 17.28 sqm and already meets international standards, according to Singson.
The government originally planned to transfer 6,000 families by the end of January but had to reduce the number after the reconfiguration.
Local Government Units (LGUs) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be responsible in deciding which families will be eligible to occupy a unit.
The government’s temporary shelters project has already built 126 out of their target of 222.