Mayor claims politics marred town’s water project

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Saturday, January 19, 2013


POLITICS got in the way on her project to provide a safe drinking water for her people, a mayor said.

Emiliana Villacarillo, mayor of Dolores, Eastern Samar, said the municipality of Dolores has acquired a loan for the water system project through the Municipal Development Fund Office (MDFO) of the Department of Finance (DOF).

“And so I asked and got an authorization from the Municipal Council to look for funding, commit and appropriate it for the water system project. Eventually, we were allowed by the MDFO to proceed with the bidding,” Villacarillo said in an interview with Leyte Samar Daily Express.

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“In December of 2011, I was on leave, and by that time, there was already a schedule for bidding. When I returned in January 2012, I went over the documents and found out some inconsistencies,” she said.

But during that bidding, no representative from the Commission on Audit was around, reason why she called for another bidding on the same project with all those who joined the first bidding were invited, she said.

It was learned that the Richmark Construction, the winning bidder during a previous bidding, did not join in the re-bidding.

It instead filed a criminal and administrative case against Villacarillo and members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

“I was surprised when Richmark Construction filed a case when in fact they were invited to join in the re-bidding of the water system project,” Villacarillo said.

However, despite following all the procedures for re-bidding, the project was again marred with controversy.

“We already had a certificate of fund availability…puydi na mag-award kay pag-transfer nala han pondo ha [municipal] treasurer. What is needed is a Sangguniang Bayan resolution authorizing the municipality to open a separate bank account, but until wara ako tagi,” Villacarillo said.

She added the contractor proceeded with the works but because of not giving her the SB resolution, it eventually stopped because the local government unit could not pay.

“You know it is all politics. They are thinking I might rake in a big amount from this project. Right now, I am only dependent on funds that need no authorization from the Sangguniang Bayan because majority of them are opposed to all of my projects in Dolores,” Villacarillo said. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)

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