Review of contracts with unpaid Capitol creditors underway
Lorraine Ecarma (The Freeman) - July 26, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Contractors and suppliers affected by the deleted appropriations under the administration of former governor Hilario Davide III will now get paid under Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.

“We will now look into all outstanding claims of our contractors,” Garcia told reporters yesterday.

Garcia said that she has requested the list of contractors from the Provincial Engineering Office and will forward the contracts to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for ratification.

To recall, over P900 million worth of continuing appropriations were deleted due to a reported lack of cash backup for the years 2005-2013.Consequently, contractors involved in the deleted allocations were left unpaid by the provincial government.

However, it was later discovered that months prior to the deletion, the province’s net cash balance was P 1,934,685,959.28, enough to carry over the projects.

Garcia cited the situation of Balamban General Hospital which was a project carried under her previous term. According to her, because the Davide’s leadership refused to pay the contractor, the construction was put to halt. Only the first floor of the hospital is now being utilized by the city.

“Tungod niato ilang insistence nga dili gyud bayran for lack of lack of sangguian authority kuno to enter into that contract which they could have easily addressed by ratifying that contract… ni-suffer ang atong provincial hospital,” Garcia said.

According to Garcia, the deletion also goes against Section 322 of RA 7160 or the Local Government Code which states: “Appropriations for capital outlays shall continue and remain valid until fully spent, reverted or the project is completed. Reversions of continuing appropriations shall not be allowed unless obligations therefore have been fully paid or otherwise settled.”

The unpaid creditors can finally now heave a sigh of relief after the Provincial Board recently drafted an ordinance revoking Ordinance No. 2018-18, which allowed the deletion of the appropriations.

As of May 21, the province had a net cash balance of P2.62 billion. — KBQ (FREEMAN)

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