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Kahit UN palpak din! COA declares DSWD-IOM’s P201M Yolanda housing project an epic fail; demands refund

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The Commission on Audit (COA) has declared a P201 million temporary housing project for victims of supertyphoon “Yolanda” a bust and has demanded a refund and penalties from its builder, the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

IOM is a member of the United Nations Country Team/Humanitarian Country Team (UN CT/HCT) and is the chosen partner of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to build 2,700 homes in the cities of Tacloban and Ormoc and provinces of Samar, Eastern Samar, and Leyte.

COA said IOM was supposed to build the 2,700 houses – at P70,000 each – bankrolled by DSWD funds plus 500 more units from Asian Development Bank (ADB) funds from August 2014 to January 2015. But COA said IOM completed only half of the project or 1,410 units as of end-2017.

“The non-completion of the shelter projects deprived the intended beneficiaries of the benefits that could have been derived from the project,” COA said in DSWD’s annual audit report for 2017.

COA urged DSWD to seek a refund of the unfinished shelters committed by IOM including interest if it would not be implemented.

COA also questioned why then DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman transferred P32 million to IOM to build more houses on June 29,2016 (or a day before the Duterte administration took over) even though IOM did not finish its original Yolanda project.

COA said IOM returned P22.8 million in November 2017 because it could not find a suitable location for the new housing project. The balance of P9.2 million, however, is still in IOM’s possession.