TWO Lapu-Lapu City Hall officials defended the inclusion of P3.06 million for the repair of the Rizal Plaza in Barangay Poblacion.

They said it passed through the City Council in two supplemental appropriations, which were then incorporated in the 2010 Annual Investment Plan (AIP).

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Perla Amara, city planning and development coordinator, told the councilors the first appropriation ordinance involved P1.5 million, while the other involved P1.56 million. The council approved both after discussing the AIP, she said.

Acting City Engineer Roger Veloso concurred with Amara, saying the P3.06-million budget falls short of his estimated P11-million cost of the plaza’s repairs.

A notice to proceed work was issued last Nov. 24, he said, and the project was supposed to be finished in 120 days. But the appropriated amount will only cover 20 percent of the total area of the plaza.

Both officials were invited to the council’s regular session, after Councilor Junard Chan asked where the City charged the cost of the project. Vice Mayor Mario Amores, who presides over the session, could not recall that the council approved funds for the plaza work.

Chan said he raised the question because, as district councilor of Poblacion, he has been asked about the project and its lack of signs. “I am afraid this will end up like the Hoopsdome and the jeepney terminal, which remain unfinished even if the City has spent nearly P400 million on them,” said Chan.

Councilor Florito Pozon and Rodulfo Potot advised Veloso to put up a billboard about the project, particularly its cost and the date of completion, to inform the public.