In-City Resettlement Housing Program
Poor Coordination Among Key Agencies Prevented NHA from Achieving Its Relocation and Resettlement Goals
What COA Found
The 5-year Housing Program (2011-2016) aims to provide a safe, affordable, and decent resettlement housing for Informal Settler Families (ISFs) living in danger areas to on-site, near-city and in-city leaving off-city resettlement as last resort. In order to attain these objectives, National Housing Authority (NHA) established a goal of constructing 16,748 permanent housing units and relocate the same number of ISFs by the end of 2016.
As of December 31, 2016, the NHA constructed 8,644 or 52% of the planned housing units. An additional 4,876 (29%) units were under construction while construction on 3,228 (19%) units had not started because NHA had yet to issue the project proposals, start the bidding process or sign the contract. Acquisitions/Identification of land for socialized housing also contributed to delays because local governments did not properly coordinate with NHA in submitting the required reports on the inventory of land.
ISFs’ relocation and resettlement goals also fell short of targets. The 3,656 families relocated under this program account for only 22% of the 16,748 identified ISFs. There is no specific timeframe for ISFs’ relocation from the time the housing units are completed. Moreover, ISFs find it difficult to secure documentary requirements for relocation such as notarized Sworn Application to Purchase Lot/Unit (SAPL), Birth Certificates and proof of income. In addition, families had a disincentive to accept in-city housing units because of their higher monthly payments compared to off-city units. On average, in-city monthly payment is 227% higher than off-city payment. Furthermore, validation of program beneficiaries could not be done due to absence of updated centralized ISF beneficiaries’ database covering all government housing programs that resulted to double availment of housing units and accommodation of non-beneficiaries.
There are several factors that hindered NHA’s efforts to attain its targets. First, the program’s Policy Guidelines and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) were not promulgated until 2-3 years after the program began in 2011. Second, the roles and responsibilities of the four implementing agencies were not properly defined, coordinated nor aligned with their respective mandates. For example, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), NHA, Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), and the Local Government Units (LGUs), adopted a fragmented and independent schemes in terms of People’s Plan Adoption, Beneficiary Selection and Validation, Selling Prices and Payment Terms, which are necessary in the implementation of the Housing Program. Also, the technical expertise and mandate of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) was not tapped in the implementation of the Program. Moreover, the Program adopted the concept of the People’s Plan wherein the affected ISFs will be adequately and genuinely consulted, including the selection of contractors which is not in accordance with Republic Act (RA) No. 9184 otherwise known as the “Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA)”. On the other hand, NHA adopted the Design and Build Contract Scheme in the selection of contractors that dispensed the consultation concept in the People’s Plan.
Why COA did this study
In 2011, the Government allocated ₱50 billion for the 5-year Housing Program to relocate and resettle ISFs living along danger areas in Metro Manila. Informal settlements are often overcrowded, exposed to recurring floods, and lack basic infrastructure and services. NHA allocated ₱ 9.853 billion for the “In-City Resettlement Housing Program (ICRHP)” to construct 16,748 permanent housing units by the end of 2016.
This audit examined: (1) the program’s goals, objectives, and performance indicators; (2) the extent to which the ICRHP achieved its construction and resettlement goals and objectives; and (3) the factors affecting the program’s efforts to attain its targets.
COA reviewed/assessed the program documents and accomplishment reports, conducted visual inspections of several housing projects, and interviewed NHA personnel and selected resettled families.
What COA recommends
COA recommends that the ISF-National Technical Working Group (NTWG) harmonize the roles and responsibilities of concerned agencies to their respective mandates to address the gaps in the planning and implementation of the resettlement and relocation of the identified ISFs. In addition, the NHA, in particular, should align its existing guidelines to the overall Policy Guidelines and the related IRR of the Housing Program to establish proper coordination with other implementing agencies and to ensure uniformity of implementation of the program.