Private contractor takes blame for bridge breakdown in Zamboanga housing
MANILA – The contractor of the Zamboanga housing project has taken full responsibility for the collapse of a wooden footbridge in Rio Hondo village in Zamboanga City.
During the hearing of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday, National Housing Authority (NHA) chief-of-staff John Mahamud said it was the obligation of the contractor to check the safeguards of the project since it has not yet been turned over to the agency.
The technical consultant of Limestone Construction Development and Corp., engineer Alhazen Sapie, said the company was responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the bridge and would extend help to resolve the problem.
“The company accepts full responsibility for that,” Sapie said, adding that the housing project is 95-percent complete and is still undergoing rectification.
A group of poltiikos ed by Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, chair of the House committee on housing and urban development, was on its way to inspect a housing project in Sitio Hong Kong, Barangay Rio Hondo when the footbridge collapsed.
Former NHA general manager Chito Cruz said the use of wood as foundation for the house on stilts project was approved by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Cruz said the initial design was a concrete foundation but due to limited budget and time constraints, the DPWH approved the construction of house on stilts based on the wood foundation.
Benitez said the housing projects are meant to provide resettlement for those who were already displaced.
He, however, noted that the housing sector was hounded by hundreds of complaints of substandard quality that must be addressed.
“The substandard quality of resettlements totally negates the very purpose of our housing program,” he said.
The Z3R Housing Project was designed to give decent homes to poor residents who were displaced during the 2013 Zamboanga siege. (FMC/PNA)