Mayor accuses congressman of ‘credit grabbing’-A A +A
Friday, August 31, 2012
ANGELES CITY - Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan Thursday hit 1st District Representative Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin for allegedly claiming credit over the P100-million West Circumferential Road (Friendship Highway) widening project, saying he was the one who proposed the road improvement to the Regional Development Council (RDC).
“I think my old friend is just confused, or a little desperate that he is now into credit grabbing,” Pamintuan said during a press conference at the City Hall on Thursday.
“The West Circumferential Road is a project I have proposed and vigorously pushed before the RDC. Mr. Lazatin is claiming credit for it,” the mayor added.
Pamintuan showed copies of his letters to the RDC which are dated April 2011 until February this year.
The city mayor claimed he proposed to the RDC a total of P5.1 billion worth of infrastructure projects which includes the circumferential road.
“Most of these projects are tourism-related since I am the chairman of the RDC tourism committee. I have the pertinent documents regarding these projects,” Pamintuan said.
The circumferential road was not included in Lazatin’s program under the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from 2010 to 2012, according to the mayor.
He also claimed that a congressman is only allotted P70 million a year in PDAF. “The P342.9 million worth of projects he claimed is equivalent to almost five years of his PDAF,” Pamintuan said.
On the report of the City Project Monitoring Committee (CPMC) that some infrastructure projects undertaken by the City Government are “overpriced, poorly planned and poorly constructed,” Pamintuan clarified that he was the one who created the committee by virtue of Executive Order 17 precisely to promote transparency in all of the City Government’s projects and dealings.
“The CPMC is our partner in promoting and practicing good governance. It goes without saying that we expect the CPMC to make objective observations on our projects, which we are bound to respect and consider,” the mayor said.
The report distributed to the media was not an official issuance of the CPMC, Pamintuan said.
Councilor Jojo Dimapilis, Liga ng Mga Barangay president and chair of the CPMC, will make clarifications regarding the issue, according to Pamintuan.
“Whoever issued the report is clearly out to mislead the public,” he said.
The issues raised were by Noel Sibal of the CPMC regarding some alleged irregularities on the projects, were all answered during a recent Local Development Council meeting, the mayor added.
On the allegation of “perceived overpricing” of the Legislative Building, the building is about 50 percent complete and its total cost is P30 million, of which about P12 million have already been spent, Pamintuan said.
It was the past administration (former Mayor Francis “Blueboy” Nepomuceno) which determined the project cost, the mayor said.
“We cannot see any basis how the alleged overpricing occurred on a project that is yet to be completed,” he claimed.
On the Angeles-Magalang road project, Pamintuan said the project did not only include the widening but also the repair of the original lanes.
“Leaving the center lanes rutted would have made the project meaningless. Instead of simply widening the road, we put it in total order,” the mayor said.
He also clarified that the Pampang Market project involved only the improvement of the façade and the roofing.
“Insofar as the comfort rooms are concerned, the project only called for the construction of the ceilings, painting, and installation of new doors. That was exactly what was done. We have nine comfort rooms with 24 cubicles at the Pampang Market,” he said.
The mayor even assured that several issues aired during the LDC meeting, including the absence of drainage in Barangays Amsic and Anunas, absence of amenities for PWDs, defective ceilings at the Ospital Ning Angeles, among others, will be considered.
Pamintuan also dismissed claims that there were no consultations made with vendors with regards to the projects at the public market.
“This is untrue. All of you know that I am, in fact, overly consultative. The Pampang Market project was actually born out of consultations with the vendors,” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 31, 2012.