PB defers anew approval of Carcar’s P600M loan

Michael Vencynth H. Braga/RHM (The Freeman) - February 15, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Provincial Board has deferred the approval of Carcar City’s legislation amending a previous ordinance on the city’s P600-million loan application for first phase of the construction of the New Carcar City Center.

This, after a few PB members asked during their regular session yesterday the Committee on Laws and Review on Ordinances to further review the measure.

Board Member Raul Alcoseba, who represents the first district where Carcar City belongs, raised technical queries regarding the amendatory ordinance.

He specifically asked if a new ordinance could be passed rather than just an amendatory ordinance, considering that the change involves a large amount of money.

But the legislators instead agreed to refer the matter to the PB Committee on Budget and Appropriation and the Committee on Laws and Review on Ordinances headed by Board Member Joven Mondigo Jr.

The loan with the Development Bank of the Philippines covers the construction of the New City Center comprised of a new City Hall (P350 million), public market (P160 million), and terminal (P90 million) to be established in a 34.7-hectare land within the boundaries of barangays Poblacion III and Valladolid.

But the city introduced amendments to a provision of the original ordinance by realigning P85 million of the allocation for the terminal for the public market, increasing the latter’s allocation to P245 million.

Carcar City Mayor Nicepuro Apura and members of the City Council were summoned to appear in the session yesterday.

Apura told the PB that the Carcar City Center project already started last year despite the pendency of the PB’s action on the ordinance.

Hinging on the provisions of the Local Government Code, he said the PB is allowed to act on the measures submitted before it for review within 30 days; otherwise, the same is deemed consistent with the law and therefore valid.

Under the law, the legislative body is tasked to review all ordinances approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod and Sangguniang Bayan of the province’s component cities and municipalities to ensure that they and their mayors are within their scope of their prescribed powers.

Apura explained that they had to cut the allocation for the terminal in the meantime due to legal issues.

The city already owns 11.22 hectares of the 34.7 hectares but another 3.51 hectares are still the subject of expropriation proceedings.

The Carcar City government had ratified the loan agreement for a loan package of P600 million with DBP.

Under the terms and conditions of the agreement, the P600-million loan is payable in 15 years for each project component and whose period will be reckoned from the initial release. Payment of the principal loan would start after a three-year grace period.

The PB appropriation committee did not object to the original ordinance when it was submitted for review earlier last year.  (FREEMAN)


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