San Francisco airport project had P10M payable, no approved plan

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Friday, May 3, 2013


THE upgrading of the San Francisco, Camotes airport got stalled because of a P10-million payable, the absence of an approved plan and the lack of approval from the Provincial Board (PB).

This was Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale’s response to Rep. Pablo John Garcia’s (Cebu, third district) allegation that she stopped the San Francisco airport upgrading project.

Magpale said she learned that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has not approved a plan for the P70.9-million airport project.

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There was also no PB-approved contract between the project contractor and the Provincial Government, she added.

As such, she said, Capitol had yet to pay P10 million to contractor for partial work done.

Cost

A document from the Provincial Engineering Office revealed that the San Francisco, Camotes and Bantayan Island airport projects were awarded to Sargaso Construction and Development Corp.

The Sta. Fe, Bantayan project costs P76.03 million. When Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia was suspended starting Dec. 19, 2012, the Capitol was in the final stage of acquiring the land for the runway.

Liberal Party’s (LP) gubernatorial bet Hilario “Junjun” Davide III and Magpale, his running mate, have been trading accusations with the Garcia camp even before the start of the local campaign period.

With just eight days before the election on May 13, LP Cebu candidates met with a multi-sectoral group in Mandaue City yesterday for a covenant signing.

But Davide requested that the signing of the covenant proposed by the Cebu People Power Volunteers for Reform (PPVR) be held after the elections.

“Kung magpirmahay ta karon unya simbako di ta kadaog, unsa may silbi sa covenant (If we sign the covenant now, what will be its use if, God forbid, we lose in the elections)?” he said during the activity at the Norkis Park.

Goal

Under the proposed covenant, the candidates, if elected, must help realize the goal of the Aquino administration to end corruption in government.

The candidates must also end illegal forced evictions; provide basic services and to the poor; fully implement the Urban Development and Housing Act; set up a coordinating office for civil society organizations; enhance participation of civil society organizations in all local special bodies of the local government units; ensure gender equality; and ensure participation of all stakeholders in finding solutions to problems.

Davide, Magpale were supposed to sign the covenant with Cebu PPVR coordinator Honorio Baculao and Cebu PPVR president Gloria Barretto.

Davide also said the covenant needs to be reviewed and discussed more. “We have to discuss this thoroughly but I assure you we will have a covenant signing,” he added.

He promised to convene a summit for all sectors within his first 100 days in office.

Davide said many of the provisions in the covenant are included in his platform.

Promises

Barretto, Cebu PPVR’s newly elected president, said a covenant is important to make sure the candidates will fulfill their promises.

The Cebu PPVR, which was formed in 2007, has 13 chapters in Cebu. The PPVR has been a partner of the Aquino administration in implementing programs for marginalized sectors, said Barretto.

Magpale, on the other hand, vowed to ensure “inclusive growth” for Cebu so that all sectors benefit from economic growth.

Magpale said all sectors must be involved in finding solutions to concerns like housing problems.

Yesterday’s activity was also attended by Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, Rep. Luigi Quisumbing (Cebu, 6th district) and Provincial Board Member Thadeo Ouano, who are all seeking reelection.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 03, 2013.

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