Vice guv backs guv on stand vs COA-A A +A
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
NEGROS Occidental Vice Governor Genaro M. Alvarez Jr. said Tuesday he fully supports the stand of Governor Alfredo G. Marañon Jr. against the Commission on Audit’s (COA) “unjustified delay” on its decision over the
Alvarez said the Provincial Board, which ratified the subject contract last year, will explore all possible options, including legal remedies, against COA for its unexplainable delay regarding lease-purchase contract between the Provincial Government and Ayala Land Inc. for the 7.7-hectare prime Capitol property adjacent to the Capitol.
Alvarez reiterated that he agrees with Marañon’s statement that the delay of COA’s decision has deprived the province of the proceeds of the transaction, which are earmarked for developmental programs to benefit the marginalized Negrenses in the countrysides.
Last Monday, Marañon issued a statement accusing COA of hindering the development projects of the province.
However, Marañon asserted that he is not giving up the fight.
He said, for almost a year, the Provincial Government had already hurdled several obstacles to the project’s implementation.
“But there continue to be delays, the most recent of which is the forming of a Technical Team from the COA’s central office to evaluate and re-appraise the value of Capitol property nine months after the award contracts were submitted to them for review and approval,” the governor said.
“It has been almost a year since the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) passed on April 13, 2011 Resolution No. 0364 which set into motion the lease, sale or any arrangement to finance the many development projects and activities of Negros Occidental,” Marañon said.
“Ever since we submitted the award contracts to the Commission on Audit (COA) central office in July last year, we have wondered why they have set so many milestones but would keep on deferring on their decisions and resolutions,” the governor lamented.
Marañon also cited the favorable legal opinions and multi-sectoral support for the project. He said the project generated such overwhelming support “because this is a good project that will dramatically perk-up our provincial economy, boost the province’s revenues and tax earnings, generate jobs and provide impetus to more badly-needed infrastructure and public utilities development all under our 3-year strategic Negros First Development Plan.”
While he acknowledged the arrival last week of the COA team which was supposedly sent to re appraise the property, an apparently peeved Marañon asked, “Why only now?”
He said COA by procedure should have reviewed the contract within 60 days upon receipt of the contract and, within that period, COA should have undertaken all the necessary actions needed for the review.
Marañon said the delay being made by COA on deciding on the contract is very obvious.
“The Provincial Government has no choice but to de-prioritze the Capitol Property Development Project and review all other development projects in order to move on to other opportunities under the Negros First Agenda,” he said.
“At this juncture, we leave it up to all parties involved to decide for themselves what their roles will be in this project moving forward,” Marañon added.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 04, 2012.