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(“Blessing po nahulog kayo”) Z3R sad stories dominate House inquiry


Sad stories by Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) about living on Z3R housing projects dominated the Congressional Inquiry on Z3R housing held yesterday at the House of Representatives.

“Blessing po nahulog kayo,” said Satunina Aba, a housing beneficiary in Sitio Hongkong, Rio Hondo, referring to the falling into murky water of Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco – Salazar, Congressman Celso Lobregat and Congressman Albee Benitez when a wooden bridge in the area collapsed.

Aba said that the fall of officials from a wooden footbridge in Sitio Hongkong, Rio Hondo brought their plight to national government focus.  Aba said that they did not complain about defects on their housing units to the NHA because they thought that they would not be acted on since they were Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).

Aba said that they were more comfortable in their makeshift houses in a transitory site that the IDP themselves constructed and organized because they used materials such as mangrove wood (bakawan) from their former houses.

When they transferred to their permanent unit in Sitio Hongkong, however, they found their houses unstable because of the materials used.

“Naramdaman namin umaalog alog ang bahay,”  Aba said.

Aba also said that the house did not have a kitchen and that some of the houses have no doors.

Tulungatung resettlement site resident Hamja Mohammad also questioned the integrity of the dwelling she occupies.

“Everytime there was a strong wind, I have to run outside for fear that the house would collapse,” said Mohammad, adding “ Since ang fundacion ng bahay namin ay hindi maganda talagang hindi pwede patirhan.”

Recall that a unit at the Tulungatung Resettlement Site collapsed last February for causes that the NHA attributed to the occupants.

Aba also said that residents got sick because the units lack electricity and water and did not protect its occupants from the elements.

“Pag umulan,nagigising nalang kami basa na ang ulo namin,” recounts Aba.

When a housing unit collapsed last February, some residents voiced their concerns to the government.

Aba, however, said that the NHA responded by giving out fliers informing residents about prohibited acts in relation to occupying Z3R housing units. (Remus Ong)

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