Press Release
November 26, 2013


Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada is strongly pushing for the restoration of the budget of the National Housing Authority (NHA) for emergency housing assistance for calamity victims.

This developed as Sen. Estrada sternly questioned during the budget plenary deliberations last week why the NHA was given zero budget by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the said program for 2014.

"Marami sa ating mga kababayan, lalung-lalo na itong nasalanta ng bagyo na walang bahay na masisilungan, tapos bibigyan natin ng zero budget ang NHA. I think this is very suspicious and ridiculous," Jinggoy asserted.

According to a situation report by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) dated November 24, there were 555,514 houses which were totally damaged by super typhoon Yolanda.

Another NDRRMC report dated November 3 regarding the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Bohol showed that 14,512 houses were totally damaged across Central Visayas, while more than 58,000 were partially damaged.

It was also learned during the plenary discussions that there is an unrealized target of 100,000 housing units in Metro Manila for 2013, and there is another backlog of 500,000 housing units for those outside Metro Manila. But no budget has been allocated for these projects.

"I shall move for the reinstatement of the budget of the NHA in order to fund the emergency housing assistance for typhoon and earthquake victims. It is clear as daylight that we have to address the concerns for decent shelter of the calamity victims," Jinggoy said.

NHA General Manager Atty. Chito Cruz said that they asked a 24.8 billion budget for 2014 from the DBM, but only 10.95 billion was approved. The said amount is lower by half compared to NHA's 2013 budget allocation from the national government of 21.3 billion.

Atty. Cruz said during the committee hearing that the 10.95 billion proposed 2014 budget will be able to fund the housing program for informal settler families residing in danger areas (creeks, rivers, and esteros) in Metro Manila, and the housing program for low-income military and police personnel, including Bureau of Corrections and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology jail guards.

Other programs of the NHA including resettlement of informal settler families residing in danger areas outside Metro Manila, slum upgrading and the emergency assistance housing for calamity victims were not granted funds.

NHA requested approximately one billion pesos for the calamity assistance program for 2014. The amount is significantly higher compared to the 620 million budget allocation for 2013.

"I welcome the pronouncement of the Senate Finance Committee chair to restore this item in the 2014 budget and allocate funds for this basic need," Sen. Estrada said.

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