Senior Superintendent Flynn Dongbo, acting city director of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), has requested Mayor Evelio Leonardia to donate the 10 Mitsubishi L-300 rescue vehicles turned over to them by the previous administration.
This came after the vehicles were returned and brought to Bacolod Government Center (NGC) on Monday for inspection and inventory, based on the request of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO).
Dongbo, in his letter to the mayor dated December 12, said the BCPO needs the vehicles considering that they have insufficient patrol vehicles to use in their anti-criminality campaign and in the maintenance of peace and order.
He also emphasized the significance of the vehicles as the city will host the Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) Summit meeting on March 2017.
With such request, Acting Mayor El Cid Familiaran sent a letter to the City Council informing them of Dongbo’s letter.
Familiaran considered the matter urgent and has requested the City Council to pass a resolution granting temporary use of the vehicles to the BCPO subject to the condition that the CDRRMO needs to take priority.
The 10 vehicles were turned over by former Mayor Monico Puentevella to the BCPO last June. However, CDRRMO officer-in-charge Joemarie Vargas said the vehicles were returned to the city after its Negros Oriental-based supplier requested for the inspection of the vehicles and asked for its payment.
The previous administration has yet to pay the supplier because the funds to be used for the purchase of the vehicles amounting to P8.4 million cannot be sourced from the calamity funds, Vargas said.
The calamity fund can never be used for any non-disaster operations. It cannot be used for the rescue vehicles to be turned over to the police, Vargas added.
He said the City Legal Office is now studying how to pay the supplier.
“We want to correct the mistake of the previous administration,” he added.
The vehicles were already returned to the BCPO after the inspection, pending the decision of the City Council about Dongbo’s request.