Abad: Why VP Binay misleads public on housing issue?

    MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad today questioned the claims made by Vice President Jejomar Binay on the allegations that Administration’s budget for housing initiatives was diverted from the Vice President’s agencies to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

    Butch Abad housing

    Contrary to Binay's claims, DBM records show that the four housing corporations headed by Binay—including the National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC), Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC), and National Housing Authority (NHA)—have received a total of P116.3 billion pesos, beginning 2010 until 2015.

    “Why does the Vice President insist on misleading the public, especially when the facts will so easily debunk his claims? The Aquino administration has offered consistent budgetary support to the Vice President’s housing agencies since 2010. We do this exactly because we understand the urgent nature of providing housing services to Filipino families, especially the poorest and most marginalized,” Abad said.

    “What’s most galling is the fact that just last year, Binay gave effusive thanks to the President for the support that was given to the Vice President’s housing programs. Perhaps Binay doesn’t realize that by repeatedly contradicting himself, he exposes his character for what it really is,” Abad added.

    Vice President Binay was previously quoted in an October 2014 Philippine Daily Inquirer article, “Amid trials, Binay bares successes in housing.” In stark contrast to his recent attacks against the housing budget, Binay then claimed that “The government housing sector is very grateful for the support given by the President in the housing programs of the shelter agencies. These achievements would not have happened without the support of the President.”

    The Budget Secretary also denounced inconsistencies in the statements released by the Vice President, particularly with respect to issues on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

    “Binay was already quoted as saying that the NHA was under OP and that the HGC was a GOCC, conveniently avoiding the fact that he chairs both agencies. He did this to save face after he attacked the government for using DAP when agencies under him received and utilized P11.45 B in DAP funds in October 2011. And during that period and until his resignation, Binay never said anything,” Abad said.

    “Recently, the Vice President boasted about the ‘record and performance’ of HUDCC under his watch. But didn’t an UNA official just say that HUDCC is under the OP, after we reminded the Vice President of the DAP support that the agency received? It’s almost a joke—and not a very funny one—when Binay keeps contradicting himself in this fashion. He’s certainly more than happy to take the credit when it benefits him. Unfortunately, however, he’s not quite as eager to be truthful or answerable to the people,” Abad said.

    Abad criticized the Vice President’s refusal to respond to various corruption allegations, as well as Binay’s sustained attacks on the Aquino administration.

    “The challenge of accountability is one where the Vice President continues to disappoint. To this day, he refuses to address the corruption allegations against him in the proper forum, preferring instead to spread lies about the Administration. That’s not public service. But that’s exactly what politicking looks like,” Abad said.
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