At the marathon hearing that ended before midnight Wednesday, the Department of Health, National Housing Authority, and Commissions on Elections (Comelec) were among those who joined in the budget deliberation.
Before the approval of the NHA budget, Senator Cynthia Villar examined the difference between the work of the NHA and the Social Housing Finance Corp.
Villar said SHFC’s housing projects are not real for poor communities because its units worth P900,000 are too expensive.
Senator Risa Hontiveros, who defended SHFC’s budget proposal, said the beneficiary families of the said agency’s project choose their contractor.
But Villar said this is not true, and she even said that there was a chance that she sought out non-government organizations (NGOs) that benefited from the project, but she said it turned out to be fake.
Price of social housing units questioned in the Senate
“Hindi totoo ‘yun, kung sinasabi mo na poor communities…they cannot afford to pay P250,000 . . . This is my favorite project eh. I have relocated thousands of ISF (informal settler families ). I have been doing this for years, I have always worked with NHA. We cannot afford ’yung SHFC kasi masyadong mahal. Hinanap ko ’yung NGO. Fake eh. Why will I say something that I did not do, ‘di ba?” she explained.
Villar further explained that the SHFC and NHA projects are called socialized housing because they are reserved for poor Filipino families.
“You know, when you do a socialized housing project . . . The amount is limited, kaya nga tayo may socialized housing. This is for the poor. Madami talagang ISF along the river. Ang problema ng SHFC, hindi affordable ’yung project nila. I have been doing this for a long time, I know what is affordable and what is not affordable.” said Villar.
Villar added that government agencies for mass housing projects such as the NHA and SHFC are not there to make money.