Angeles City”•Mayoralty candidate Alex Cauguiran has described as “totally inconsiderate” the city government’s decision to acquire a P1-billion loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines to construct a new city hall building and a modern sports complex.
Cauguiran said the funds should be used instead to develop the City College of Angeles and the Ospital ng Angeles.
He urged Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan and Vice Mayor Brian Nepomuceno to “stop all these projects as no award has yet been made.”
“The mayor and vice mayor must first address the basic priority needs of the city and its residents, to provide better medical and health services, and expand opportunities for free college education, before constructing these modern facilities,” Cauguiran said.
“Spending public funds for the construction of grandiose project before the immediate need of people is a failure of public policy and flaw in good governance,” he added.
“This is mostly the cause of failure of a good governance project that does not match the immediate need of the governed,” Cauguiran stressed.
Pamintuan and Nepomuceno were not available for comment on the matter.
Cauguiran, former chief-of-staff of Pamintuan, said LGU officials should instead channel the funds to address the inadequacies at the ONA and to accommodate more poor but deserving students at the CCA.
“How can we in conscience put the convenience of LGU officials over and above the need for medical services of our residents, most of whom cannot afford to go to the private hospitals? Build a sports complex or provide more opportunities for free quality education?” he said.
If you are truly responsive to the needs and priorities of our fellow Angeleños, please listen to the people and stop your extravagant projects,” Cauguiran added.
The former Clark airport president touted his results-oriented managerial skills and is credited with the increase in flights, destinations and number of passengers at the so-called premier airport of the North.
He is running under the Kabilan Party of incumbent governor Lilia Pineda and supported by an overwhelming majority of the card-bearing members of the Partido Abe Kapampangan, a party he helped established in 2012.
Last Feb. 26, Pamintuan requested his Nepomuceno for authority from the Sangguniang Panglungsod to enter into and sign a loan agreement amounting to P1-billion with the DBP.
Among the projects cited by Pamintuan to be funded from the loan were a new five-story city hall in the amount P580 million; office equipment, furniture, and computer hardware and software at P25 million; sports complex and equipment for P360 million and a multi-level steel parking at P60 million, for a total of P1.025 billion.
“The city government will be heavily burdened for the payment of these loans over a period of 15 years and will add up to the previous borrowings of the LGU. Remember that last year alone, the city government appropriated P176 million to service its outstanding loans,” Cauguiran said.
He said based on official documents, two-term loans were signed between the city government and the DBP, one in the amount of P1.043 billion and another at P183.8 million for a total of P1.2268 billion.
“Both loans were notarized on the same day, June 18, 2018,” Cauguiran added.
Cauguiran also said that on July 18, both Pamintuan and Nepomuceno approved Sangguniang Panlungsod Appropriation Ordinance No. 325, S-2018 (PO-1045-07-18) which included among others, “funding for the construction of the new city hall, sports complex, multi-level steel parking, and other related capital expenditures amounting to P1.025 billion.”
The bidding for the sports complex was conducted on Sept. 25 while that of the new city hall is scheduled on Nov. 13, Cauguiran disclosed.