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PB OKs P200M loan from LBP

Kristine B. Quintas (The Freeman) - June 5, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) has authorized the provincial government to borrow P200 million from a financial institution for the acquisition of heavy equipment despite the opposition of one board member.

Voting 10-1, the majority of the PB yesterday approved on first, second, third and final reading the ordinance sponsored by Board Member Horacio Franco. Board Member Raul Bacaltos voted against the measure.

Those who voted in favor were Board Members Jose Mari Salvador, Jude Thaddeus Sybico, Thadeo Jovito Ouano, Glenn Bercede, Celestino Martinez III, Earl Tidy Oyas, Franco, Miguel Antonio Magpale, Christopher Baricuatro, and Jerome Christian Librando. The rest of the PB members were absent.

The PB has 17 members, including two ex-officio members Oyas and Martinez and the presiding officer Vice Governor Agnes Magpale.

Governor Hilario Davide III, who was present during the session, said it was expected of Bacaltos to oppose the measure.

“He was just being consistent. He did not vote in favor of the earlier resolutions. Nevertheless, I thank the PB for approving the ordinance,” Davide said.

In December last year, the PB also voted to award Capitol's P227.4 million heavy equipment project to the joint venture of ConEquip Philippines, Inc. and RDAK Transport Equipment, Inc.

Not all PB members, however, voted for the measure. Those who voted against it were Board Members Bacaltos, Edsel Galeos, Alex Binghay, and Victoria Corominas-Toribio. Board Members Sun Shimura and Bercede abstained while Ouano was absent. Those who voted in favor were Board Members Baricuatro and Librando, the sponsors of the resolution; Yolanda Daan, Salvador, Sybico, Magpale, Martinez, and Oyas.

Days after the approval, at least 15 Capitol officials, including Davide, Vice Governor Magpale, eight board members who voted to award the project and BAC officials, three suppliers, and an anti-graft crusader were sued over the “sham bidding”  before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas by an anonymous complainant.

It was earlier reported that Capitol allegedly rigged the bidding process to favor a contractor, which submitted the highest bid. The project was also marred with accusations of overpricing.

The passage of the new ordinance was pursuant to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ requirement, which is to “confirm, approved and ratify the loan agreement through an ordinance.”

The PB has authorized the governor through SP Resolution No. 2500-2014 as amended by SP Resolution No. 1205-2015, to undertake appropriate negotiations and enter into an agreement with the financial institution for the acquisition of P200 million worth of heavy equipment.

In consonance with the SP resolutions, the governor negotiated with Land Bank of the Philippines to enter into a loan agreement which subsequently got the approval from the PB through SP Resolution. 1238-2015.

Under the ordinance, the provincial government will pay the P200-million loan with LBP within five years with 3.75 percent interest rate per annum fixed for the entire term of the loan. In case of non-payment on due date, a penalty of 24 percent will be charged against the province to commence on the day immediately after due date of loan amortization up to the date of settlement.

The original cost for the purchase of the heavy equipment was set by Capitol at P252 million but ConEquip-RDAK submitted a bid price of P227.4 million. The P50 million will be shouldered by the province.

Capitol intends to buy 15 heavy equipment for the construction of provincial roads and road maintenance by the Provincial Engineering Office. (FREEMAN)

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