Benitez, Lobregat, other officials fall off collapsed wooden footbridge

Screenshot from the video that went viral on social media.

NEGROS Occidental third district Representative Alfredo Benitez was among the officials who fell into a muddy water after the wooden footbridge collapsed at Sitio Hongkong in Barangay Rio Honda, Zamboanga City, on Thursday, April 26.

A video of the incident went viral on social media. It also made the top stories in the national media.

The officials were conducting an inspection of the housing projects in the area.

A portion of the NHA-funded wooden foot bridge leading to the houses on stilts in Mariki collapsed a while ago while the...

Posted by Beng Climaco on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Benitez, chairman of the House committee on housing and urban development, was having a conversation with Zamboanga City Representative Celso Lobregat, Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, the National Housing Authority (NHA) Regional Director Alfonso Borlagdan, and some members of the media and their respective staff when the bridge collapsed.

Nobody was hurt in the incident.

In a text message, Benitez said he has no injuries, just a few scratches, and bruises, but he is okay.

Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police assisted Benitez and the other officials in going up from the dirty seawater.

Benitez made the inspection in response to the complaints of the residents in the area of poor housing situation like lack of water and lights and substandard housing project which is part of the Zamboanga Road Map to Recovery and the reconstruction program for the 2013 victims of the Zamboanga seige.

Benitez said the incident served as a blessing that showed how substandard the projects are and that it is time that the said footbridge has to be concreted.

He has been going around the country to check on the status of the housing projects of the government through the NHA to address several complaints on the alleged sub-standard projects.

He also did the same inspection in Marawi City, Tacloban City and other areas where the government provided housing projects for the victims of war and other disasters.

Benitez has been batting for the creation of the department of housing to address the country’s housing problems.

He said he realized the need for the Department of Housing after the hearing conducted on the takeover of housing units by members of urban poor group Kadamay in Bulacan.

Benitez pointed out that the mandate of the NHA is mainly for housing production, and it lacks the whole approach to solve the housing problems.


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