Angeles’s debts: P76.6M in 2003 to P311.5M in 2007-A A +A
Sunday, March 17, 2013
ANGELES CITY -- The total official debt of the City Government of Angeles rose from P76.6 million in 2003 to P311.5 million in 2007 or by a whopping P234.9 million during the term of Representative Carmelo Lazatin as city mayor.
City Administrator Dennis Albert Pamintuan said Lazatin placed the Angeles City Government in a very bad fiscal position when he served as local chief executive.
“The annual audit reports by the Commission on Audit (COA) from 2003 to 2007 revealed that Lazatin acquired loans to purchase heavy equipment and to fund the construction of roads amounting to P30.088 million and P13.614 million, respectively, in 2003, for construction of the San Nicolas Public Market in 2004 and 2005 amounting to P186 million, and for the construction of the slaughterhouse totaling P25 million in 2004, as well as for the purchase of computers and to fund the solid waste management program amounting to more than P50 million,” Pamintuan added.
“Three years ago, Lazatin strongly criticized the administration of then Mayor Blueboy Nepomuceno for acquiring a loan purportedly for a sports complex in Barangay Mining. It turned out now that Lazatin acted like a hypocrite because in reality the City Government started drowning in this quagmire of loans during his time as mayor from 1998 to 2007,” Pamintuan said.
The COA issues its annual audit report for each agency of government including local government units based on expenditures, appropriations, fiscal management and the like subject to strict guidelines issued by the commission itself and other line agencies like the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
“The hundreds of millions of loans acquired by Lazatin when he was mayor severely affected the fiscal position of the City Government then and still troubling the annual budget up to present. Just imagine what we could do in terms of social services without the mandated appropriation for debt servicing year after year after year,” Pamintuan explained.
The Lazatin camp said the Pamintuan administration is “digging decade old issues” to discredit the 78-year-old congressman but the incumbent city administration dismissed this outright.
“The matter about the Lazatin acquired loans is not a decade old issue. It is a very relevant issue. It is an issue about sound fiscal management and competent public administration. It is an issue that directly relates to the people’s money. Tayo pong mamamayan ng Lungsod ng Angeles ang nagbayad at patuloy na nagbabayad sa perang inutang noong panahong si Lazatin ang alkalde. Papayagan ba natin itong maulit?” the young Pamintuan said. (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 18, 2013.