MANILA, Philippines-The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) assured that the construction of temporary shelters for typhoon Yolanda affected families in Eastern Visayas are not overpriced.

Bunkhouses constructed in identified sites by concerned Local Government Units (LGUs), comprising 24 units for same number of families, were completed at a cost of P836,017, which is lower than the original estimated cost of P959,000.

During a press briefing, Secretary of Public Works and Highways Rogelio L. Singson explained that the DPWH was able to cut down the construction costs of bunkhouse, which includes common wash and toilet area with the contractors generously waving the profit margin and overhead expenses.

Bunkhouses are temporary shelters, a decent dwelling for families left homeless, since it will take time to construct the required permanent housing, said Singson.

With thousands of families with totally damaged houses and nowhere else to go, our government has to act and address immediately the need for temporary shelter of homeless families, added Singson.

As DPWH has set the specifications for the construction of bunkhouses made of wooden frames, GI Sheet roofing, plywood walls and raised flooring, and cement footing, Singson said that contractors will not be paid if they fail to comply the specified standards unless they correct the defects.

“If found that materials used were substandard and unless contractors make appropriate corrections, government will not pay any amount and it may be better for them to just donate the structure,” added Singson.

To further improve living condition and in addressing clamor for space constraint for 24 units/families per bunkhouse, Singson said that the DPWH in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and LGUs will reduce to 12 family units per bunkhouse by removing partitions from the original 24 families per bunkhouse.