House to probe Zamboanga City housing project

MANILA, Philippines – The House committee on housing and urban development will begin its investigation into the condition of a National Housing Authority (NHA) project in Zamboanga City on Wednesday, May 16. 

Lawmakers will scrutinize the standard of housing units and living conditions of beneficiaries at the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R) project in Barangay Mariki.

The Z3R project currently houses families displaced by the 2013 Zamboanga siege

The congressional probe comes after politicians – among them housing and urban development committee chairperson Alfredo Benitez himself – fell off a footbridge that collapsed at the Z3R housing project. (LOOK: Zamboanga City footbridge collapses during officials' inspection

Benitez, Zamboanga City 1st District Representative Celso Lobregat, Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco, and other officials were walking on the footbridge when the wooden planks gave way under them, causing the politicians to fall into the murky river below. 

The lawmakers were inspecting the state of the housing project when the incident happened.

Videos of the footbridge collapse went viral online, with several netizens even editing the video and adding background music as the politicians fell.

Climaco previously said the incident proves the "poor state" of the NHA's housing project in her city. 

"I express deepest regrets for the unfortunate mishap that transpired during the inspection of [the project] in Barangay Mariki," said Climaco. – 

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.