DILG Secretary Mar Roxas during the Budget Hearing. - Photo by Manila Standard Today
DILG Secretary Mar Roxas during the Budget Hearing. – Photo by Manila Standard Today

Manila, Philippines – Navotas Rep. and United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) spokesperson Tobias Tiangco grills Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas on Friday during the budget hearing of the House of Representatives.

Tiangco was the first to interpolate Roxas and has asked the secretary if the agency is authorized to undertake a housing project which he said is covered by the charter of the National Housing Authority (NHA).

Tiangco lamented that the policy was in the Executive Order 90 issued by the President Corazon Aquino.

“The NHA should have the sole power on the housing program of the government. Why is it the DILG now?” Tiangco asked.

However, Roxas explained that he was just following the Memorandum Order 57 issued by President Benigno Aquino III instructing him to “immediately spearhead the transfer of informal settler families living in danger and high-risk areas.”

“We are just following the instructions of the President. If we support this program, let us help each other expedite its implementation. This is not about credit-grabbing,” Roxas said.

Tiangco ended his view by saying, “mas magaling gumawa ng bahay ang NHA,” and then moved on to the P2.7 billion budget of the DILG for potable water projects, which he argued is within the purview of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA).

Roxas explained that the project of potable water has been a standing project of his agency since ’90s and that they help the LWUA in this function.

Moreover, Tiangco confronted Roxas with his statement at the Senate Thursday that criticisms about his housing mandate from the president might have been prompted by jealousy.

“Who are you referring to Mr. Secretaty?” Tiangco asked.

“I was referring to no one in particular, we have a saying in Filipino, ‘bato-bato’ sa langit, ang tamaan, huwag magalit,” Roxas answered.

The MO 57 ordering the DILG to speed up the relocation of 20,000 families in squatter areas has a budget of P10 billion which the government aims to accomplish on December, this year.

Written by:

Janice Tapil
ABCom, Leyte Normal University