Blackhole payment still pending-A A +A
Friday, September 13, 2013
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Who will actually pay the Japanese Blackhole technology is still a mystery here.
After pronouncements of Mayor Edna Tabanda she is not inclined to pay the debt left by the non-operational technology owing to the facts it did not pass through any form of government audit and memorandum of agreement, it seems the entire legislative body is backing her sentiments.
Vice Mayor Romeo Salda reiterated the Municipal Council never accepted the obligation to pay for the technology, contrary to newspaper reports last week.
The Cooperative Bank of Benguet and its CBB Corporation Foundation filed a multimillion collection suit against the entire officialdom of the Valley for nonpayment of loans to acquire the Japanese garbage technology.
Salda said the council is represented by lawyer Miller Quintin in the case involving some P25 million in alleged debts but stressed the SB's stand on not paying.
A hearing for the case was scheduled Wednesday, September 11, with two earlier hearings postponed, dragging the case further and awaiting the court’s decision on who is liable to pay the bank loan.
It is speculated former mayor Greg Abalos may have to pay the debt in his private capacity if it is proved the municipality and the legislative body gave no authority to transact in the deal.
"How can the municipality be liable and pay the loan, if [the transaction] did not pass through its coffers?" Salda said.
It was under the watch of Abalos when the P58-million technology was acquired through a loan from local banks here.
In past mediation meetings it was proposed to pay the bank before the yearend a total of P10 million to be sourced from the 2012 Municipal Development Fund (MDF) as well as from the IRA and Hedcor remittances.
In 2013, it was proposed to pay another P15 million to the bank to be sourced out from the MDF as well as from the surplus budget from 2012, which will be then part of the new year’s supplemental budget.
Abalos, in his capacity as mayor then, loaned the P5 million on September 30, 2011 at the CBB Foundation while the P18 million came from the Coop Bank in two tranches one for P7,500,000 given June 15 and P10,500,000 given May 23 all to pay for down payments of the Black Hole Project in Alno seen to solve the worsening problem in the Valley.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 14, 2013.