Rodriguez questions grounds for cancellation of award of socialized housing program beneficiaries

COUNCILOR Jocelyn Rodriguez on Monday said Section 6 of the proposed ordinance that enumerates the grounds for the cancellation of award to beneficiaries of the city’s socialized housing program, such as failure to pay for the acquisition cost or any legal fees, are inconsistent with the intent of the government’s socialized housing program.

The City Council during its Regular Session last Monday approved on first reading Proposed Ordinance No. 2022-32, which prescribes the grounds for the cancellation of awards granted to beneficiaries, their substitution and the rules and procedures of the cancellation of awards in all socialized housing projects owned and manage by the city government.

Councilor Rodriguez said RA 7279 provides that the government shall uplift the conditions of under privileged and homeless citizens by making available to them decent housing at affordable cost.

“Kun mohisgot kita og failure to pay, dili ba kini lisod sa atong mga kaigsoonang kabus nga gihatagan og programang socialized housing ug tungod sa kamandoan atong himoong rason nga pahawaon nato sila sa ilang balay ug mobalik na sad pagkahomeless?” she asked.

Councilor Edgar S. Cabanlas, author of the draft ordinance, explained that the policy of the government is not to promote mendicancy in all government programs, but to ensure that recipients of socialized housing projects take responsibility in the program. Unless the city government did not spend any amount for the project, then it should be given free to beneficiaries, he said.

Councilor Cabanlas said funds for the construction of the buildings and development of the land were donations. The city is only asking the beneficiaries to pay for the cost of the land, he said.

INVENTORY AND PARALEGAL SECTION

Councilor Rodriguez also observed the huge duties and responsibilities of the Inventory and Paralegal Section sought to be created under the City Housing and Urban Development Department (CHUDD) that is tasked to conduct inventory, monitoring, investigation and hearing of violations by the beneficiaries.

In response to this, Councilor Cabanlas said this is meant to expedite the investigation. CHUDD has the duties and functions to focus on inventory and to follow rules and procedures, he added.

Cabanlas informed the body that there are around 1,000 beneficiaries who have allegedly sold or abandoned their housing units. The purpose of the ordinance is to have legal basis for transferring these housing units to other qualified beneficiaries, he said.

“Because of this ordinance we have to follow … rules (and procedures) before we can cancel. This ordinance will stop the CHUDD from abusing its power,” said Cabanlas.