Cebu News

Provincial treasurer rejects P194M advance payment

May B. Miasco - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu Provincial Treasurer Roy Salubre has disapproved the disbursement of the over P194 million in advance payment for the ongoing construction of the 20-storey provincial resource center.

The camp of governor-elect Gwendolyn Garcia presented to the media Thursday a copy of the disbursement voucher bearing Salubre's disapproval.

"Disapproved: No payment shall be made," was Salubre's brief hand-written remark on the disbursement voucher.

Outgoing governor and vice governor-elect Hilario Davide III told reporters June 13 that he has not yet received a copy of the disapproved voucher.

The disbursement voucher was for the release of the 15 percent mobilization fee or advance payment amounting to P194,849,570 for the construction of the provincial resource center to payee - WT Construction, Inc. (Contractor).

The total contract price is at P1,298,997,129.10.

In a separate interview, lawyer Marino Martinquilla, who is part of Garcia's transition team, was elated with the recent development which for him indicates as the "closure" over the deal.

"Nalipay mi nga at last aduna'y closure ning maong attempt to pay the advance payment amounting to 15 percent of the contract price which is more or less P194 million. It's good that Atty. Salubre, the Cebu provincial treasurer, has put his foot on this voucher," he said.

Martinquilla reiterated that this project will only put money to waste because Garcia will definitely scrap this undertaking in her term once she takes over the governor post.

"It's good na gi-disapprove gyud ni Provincial Treasurer Atty. Roy Salubre. Usik-usik lang ni sa kwarta tungod kay dili ni ipadayon ni Governor Gwen... From the very start, gi-warningan naman ni Governor Gwen, even during the campaign, nga dili niya ipadayon ang maong project. Amo pa gyud gi-formally inform ang provincial government and the contractor not to proceed with this undertaking," he said.

Martinquilla said Salubre may also have rejected the disbursement taking into account the move of provincial accountant Marieto Ypil, who also earlier turned down the same.

"Tingali iyang gi-consider ang reservation ni provincial accountant Marieto Ypil nga improper ang payment kay dili ma recoup sa province (ang bayranan) tungod kay advance payment baya na... So nalipay mi nga nibarug si Atty. Salubre as what we have been expecting all along," said Garcia's lawyer.

Martinquilla also defended Salubre over insinuations that the latter has been identified as supporter of Garcia.

"Dili ta maka-ingon... I don’t think that’s a fair identification of Salubre as tawo ni Gov. As far as I know Roy, as a friend and brother lawyer, he has been fair in his dealings. He rose from the ranks," he said.

"Tingali aduna siya'y nakit-an nga dili angay ipalapos not because nga tawo siya ni kinsa... But as far as I know, Roy has been very fair, unya kahibawo pud na siya sa iyang gibuhat. He is an accountant and a lawyer and he knows what he is doing," he added.

Martinquilla has claimed that there is no enough documentation to prove that there is available funds and that there is reportedly no approval yet from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) where the Capitol has taken a loan from.

"We have come to know nga ang kaning voucher is not supported by documents on the availability of funds... Besides, we have also come to know nga ang loan for this project has not yet been approved by DBP, although naay contract," he said.

Martinquilla said people will have to wait on Garcia's action or intervention over the ongoing excavation works at the construction site once she assumes office on June 30. (FREEMAN)

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