Mayor de­fends city gov’t bor­row­ing P1.7B loan

Leonar­dia: Every­body should be thank­ful

Watchmen Daily Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Do­minique Gabriel G. Bañaga

Ba­colod City Mayor Eve­lio Leonar­dia de­fended the city govern­ment’s plan to bor­row a P1.7 bil­lion loan from the Devel­op­ment Bank of the Philip­pines (DBP).

In a ra­dio re­port, Leonar­dia said “ev­ery­one should be thank­ful” DBP is pro­vid­ing an op­por­tu­nity for the city to pro­vide ser­vices for res­i­dents.

Among the items the loan in­tends to fund in­clude con­struc­tion of the planned Ba­colod MassKara Coli­seum, de­vel­op­ments for the Pro­greso Vil­lage re­lo­ca­tion site and Ba­colod City Col­lege, and con­struc­tion and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion on city roads and bridges.

The mayor said bor­row­ing a loan is

“ac­cept­able to him.”

He added, the Ba­colod City Govern­ment Cen­ter would not have been pos­si­ble without bor­row­ing a loan.

Ear­lier, for­mer Ba­colod City Mayor Mon­ico Puentevella slammed the loan, calling out Leonar­dia for pre­vi­ously bor­row­ing sev­eral loans dur­ing past ad­min­is­tra­tions, say­ing, such be­hav­ior was leav­ing

a “legacy of debt” for the next gen­er­a­tion.

The for­mer mayor also went af­ter the pro­posed coli­seum, which is ear­marked at P800 mil­lion, stat­ing sim­i­lar plans were made in the past with in­vestors will­ing to con­struct the project for free.

Puentevella added, P800 mil­lion would be bet­ter used to pur­chase medicine for low-in­come fam­i­lies and to build or im­prove hos­pi­tals.

The Ba­colod City Sang­gu­ni­ang Pan­lung­sod ear­lier ap­proved three re­quire­ments re­gard­ing the P1.7 bil­lion loan with City Coun­cilor Wil­son Gam­boa, Jr., who voted against the mea­sure, say­ing the ap­proval was “rail­roaded.”

Mean­while, for­mer City Coun­cilor Jo­celle Bat­apa-Sigue said the loan was un­nec­es­sary and ques­tioned its tim­ing, say­ing, such a ven­ture should be pur­sued af­ter the May 2019 midterm elec­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to Bat­a­paSigue, the city only needs to man­age its bud­get care­fully.

(Robert Su­mu­gat, Jr. photo)

(From left) MPHHI Cor­po­rate Devel­op­ment di­rec­tor Jose Noel C. De la Paz; Ba­colod City Mayor Eve­lio Leonar­dia; Asian Hos­pi­tal Char­i­ties Inc. pres­i­dent and CEO, RMCI Di­rec­tor An­dres M. Li­caros, Jr.; and RMCI Pres­i­dent and CEO Ge­n­e­sis Goldi D. Golin­gan led yes­ter­day’s rib­bon-cut­ting for the River­side Ba­colod Can­cer Care Cen­ter.

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