AN ALLY of the ruling Liberal Party on Monday slammed Vice President Jejomar Binay after he blamed former Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II over the housing backlog for the victims of Super Typhoon “Yolanda.”
“The Yolanda housing was principally handled by the NHA [National Housing Authority]. It is the NHA and not the DILG that has the mandate for housing,” Akbayan Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez, the spokesman of presidential candidate Roxas, said in a text message.
“The funds handled by the DILG were transmitted directly to the LGUs [local government units]. P2 billion was released under [Secretary Roxas], with P400 million going to Tacloban City.”
In his visit to Tacloban on Sunday, Binay said Roxas’ Interior Department had the “lion’s share” of the housing funds for the Yolanda victims.
“It seems that the money [for Yolanda] were inserted to other departments like the DILG,” Binay said.
Binay, who held the Housing portfolio under the Aquino administration until his resignation in 2011, claimed that the National Housing Authority, an attached agency under Binay’s Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, failed to meet its target of building 92,544 housing units for the Yolanda survivors because it didn’t receive enough funds from the government.
”I hope you understand that we’re not to blame at the NHA. We were working on the basis of the money given to us,” Binay told reporters in Tacloban City on Sunday.
But Gutierrez said Binay was entirely liable for the housing backlog given his crucial post as housing czar.
“It’s understandable that VP Binay would seek to distance himself from the issue and once again pin the blame on Secretary Mar [Roxas],” Gutierrez said.
“But he was head of housing for five years, and he has to own up to that.”