“NHA’s housing programs and projects are within the approved budget appropriations of Congress.”

These were the pronouncements made by National Housing Authority (NHA) General Manager Marcelino P. Escalada, Jr. in response to the online news report published by Rappler Philippines citing a COA Audit Observation that NHA housing contracts exceeded the approved budget.

GM Escalada explained that the NHA adopted the Cash Budgeting System as provided for under the EO 91 issued by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on September 9, 2019, for Multi-Year Projects.

Section 3 of EO 91 mandates that “consistent with Section 30 of the General Provisions of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for FY 2019, multi-year procurement projects, or those with an implementation period exceeding twelve (12) months, shall require the issuance of a Multi-Year Contractual Authority (MYCA) by the DBM for national government agencies (NGAs) and qualified GOCCs before the conduct of procurement The MYCA equivalent authority shall cover the full project cost, and shall be the basis of the approved budget for the contract.”

In relation to this provision, GM Escalada mentioned that the NHA, as approved by its Board of Directors, issued the MYCA fully compliant with the requirements set by the DBM and consistent with the provisions of RA 9184 of the Government Procurement Reform Act and its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations.

Likewise, with the Board’s approval, the NHA GM was authorized to realign projects under its Work Program provided that the funding requirement shall not exceed the budgetary provision for Capital Outlay under the Board-Approved Corporate Operating Budget (COB).

To ensure the continued implementation of NHA’s various programs and projects, it has adopted the GAA Special Provision on Appropriation for NHA. The provision states that “Prior Year’s Subsidy Releases from the National Government, the NHA is hereby authorized to use the subsidy released for programs and projects in 2018 and prior years to cover the additional funding requirements of activities or projects covered by the programs or sub-programs under the Resettlement Program for Informal Settler Families affected by Supreme Court Mandamus and New Armed Forces of the Philippines/Philippine National Police (AFP/PNP/BJMP/BFP/BUCOR).”

The said special provision in the GAA was specifically included by the DBM to address various requests of NHA for additional funds to finance other housing programs.