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JULY 16, 2016

NR # 4263

House to probe alleged substandard housing units for AFP and PNP
A Party-list lawmaker is calling for a congressional probe into the alleged substandard housing units
for policemen and members of the military.
All socialized housing projects of the Government must conform to the highest standards to ensure
the quality and sustainability of the housing units, Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary C. Alejano declared.
Rep. Alejano has filed a resolution (still unnumbered) directing the appropriate House Committee to
investigate, in aid of legislation, the substandard housing units constructed by the National Housing Authority
(NHA) for the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police
(PNP).
As basis for the probe, Rep. Alejano cited Section 9, Article XIII of the Philippine Constitution which
states that The State shall, by law, and for the common good, undertake, in cooperation with the private
sector, a continuing program of urban land reform and housing which will make available affordable cost,
decent housing and basic services.
Relative to this, he added that the NHA is mandated to implement the AFP/PNP Housing Program, a
flagship program of former President Benigno S. Aquino III that seeks to provide permanent housing and
security of tenure to low-salaried military and police whose need for housing must be addressed immediately.
However, in a site inspection personally conducted in Baras, Rizal and Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon,
the inspecting group which included a Member of Congress easily observed the inhumane housing
environment for the soldiers and policemen, Alejano said.
He also added that the units were notoriously dubbed as Bahay Kalapati due to its uninhabitable
condition and substandard construction.
The substandard housing units suffer from glaring inadequacies such as unavailability of water and
electricity sources as well as inaccessibility to social services leading to a burdensome life and a hellish
residential environment for our soldiers, policemen, and for their respective families, Alejano deplored.
He also revealed that the units have walls, doors and window panes that are easily breakable, roofs
that are easily blown away by strong winds, the hollow blocks used for the foundation and walls were not
completely filled in with cement.
Likewise, the septic tanks were in very sad condition because of the very thin concrete cover and other
pertinent issues related to poor construction, he added.
The substandard housing units bastardize the sacrifices rendered by our gallant soldiers and
policemen, and as guardians of peace and protectors of democracy, the provision of decent housing is a small
price to pay for the freedom were currently enjoy, Alejano, a former military officer himself, lamented.
The Filipino people, through their elected Representatives, would like to condemn these inhumane
shelter system being provided our soldiers and policemen who have worked hard to defend the Filipino
people, the declared. (30) dpt