Sunday, February 17, 2013

P6-B NHA Properties Left Deteriorating

MANILA, Philippines --- Some P6.047 billion worth of residential lots and buildings of the National Housing Authority earmarked for sale or disposal but have been left untended and deteriorating for over five years now, the Commission on Audit revealed in its 2011 report. COA said P2.1 billion of these properties are scattered all over Metro Manila, P2.91 billion in Southern Luzon and Bicol provinces, P831.85 million in Northern and Central Luzon, P165.07 million in the Visayas, P35.11 million in Mindanao, and P2.95 million under the Estate Management Department. In addition, auditors said acquired assets valued at P1.416 billion have been in NHA's inventory for one to five years and another P95.03 million worth are listed as "current". Taken together, the inventory of items for disposition or sale totaled P7.56 billion consisting of P5.476 billion worth of land, P2.012 billion buildings and P70.34 million acquired assets. "The value of these non-moving inventories decreases due to deterioration of their physical conditions and consequently results in decrease in revenues for the NHA. The schedule of acquired assets showed that the account consists of apartments, dormitories and other properties acquired from beneficiaries who were unable to pay their obligations to the NHA," the report noted. Urban Poor Associates, a non-government organization, estimates that there are around 800,000 or close to five million individuals who are living on the streets of Metro Manila. COA said the assets in the inventory "are currently unoccupied and available for disposition by the NHA." "Had the [NHA] expediently disposed of/leased out these acquired properties, it could have earned additional revenues to fund other priority projects or augment the operating funds of the NHA. Moreover, idle/unused buildings deteriorate faster resulting to decrease in potential revenues for the NHA and additional expenses for maintenance and security" the commission added. COA recommended that NHA prioritize and expedite the sale/disposition of non-moving inventories to qualified beneficiaries to generate funds for priority projects and other operational requirements. "The possible utilization of available inventories for housing requirements of qualified beneficiaries in areas where these properties are located should first be considered before embarking on new housing projects or land development," it reminded the housing agency