Collapsed wooden footbridge in Zamboanga City costs P12M, Benitez says

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House Committee on Housing and Urban Development chair Alfredo Benitez on Thursday revealed that the wooden footbridge that collapsed in Zamboanga City costs P12 million.

Benitez made the remark at a media forum in Quezon City, days after he, along with Zamboanga City Representative Celso Lobregat, Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar, and other officials fell into murky waters after the wooden footbridge in Barangay Rio Hondo collapsed.

“Yung wooden bridge na nilakaran namin ay may cost na P12 million,” Benitez said, referring to the collapsed structure funded by the National Housing Authority (NHA).

The wooden bridge has since been rehabilitated after the incident.

Aside from this, Benitez bared that the housing on stilts that they were investigating cost only P20,000 less than concrete housing units.

“Ordinarily, yung isang housing unit na tinatayo ng NHA sa lupa na semento umaabot ng P240,000 per unit. Dito sa house on stilts na ininspection natin, ang cost niya ay P220,000. Mas mura lang nang P20,000,” he said.

The houses on stilts were intended for the Badjao community living in the area, who traditionally preferred their houses built along the seawall.

Benitez has earlier revealed in a News To Go interview that the materials used in the wooden footbridge were the same as those used in the house on stilts.

Because of this, it was not impossible that the houses on stilts may also collapse, he said.

These, among other things, will be the subject of the investigation of his committee as soon as Congress resumes session, Benitez said.

“Pagbalik na pagbalik, naghihintay na lang ako ng bakanteng kwarto sa Congress,” Benitez said of the timeline of his panel’s investigation.

Among those who will be called to shed light on the incident are officials from the NHA and the Department of Public Works and Highways, he added. — MDM, GMA News

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