Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Group questions unfinished town hall project

A GROUP of residents in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental have asked the office of President Rodrigo Duterte to investigate the P112 million unfinished town hall building project in Barangay Looc.

Andres Bade Jr., spokesperson of Kilusang Pagbabago, said they are suspecting that there is graft and corruption involved, prompting them to bring the matter to the attention of the president.

The Provincial Board convened as a committee of the whole on Thursday, to look into the issue and in response also to the letter sent by the Presidential Complaint Center.

The group wrote to Duterte last January asking for a special investigation as to why the construction was not yet finished.

"Ang among query aha ang kwarta ug nganong dili gakahuman for how many years. Ang among pagduda dunay involved dinhi nga corruption,"Bade told Sunstar Cagayan de Oro.

The project was divided in two phases-the phase 1 was supposed to be completed in one year after it started last May 14, 2013 in the amount of P50 million while the phase 2 which cost another P62 million should have been completed last February.

Villanueva town administrator Ruel Gayoso said the completion of the project was delayed due to land and other legal issues.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) issued a cease and desist order when the construction had just begun. Gayoso said the local government unit was left with no choice but to stop the construction.

He said the legal issues that the LGU faced caused the delay of nearly three years, including the revision of the design.

Gayoso said the project is 80 percent completed and is scheduled to be finished by the end of this month.

"If dili mahuman sa August 30, we have legal option like we can file for liquidated damages against the contractor," Gayoso said.

But, Bade was not convinced that the project was almost completed even as he said that it is only 20 percent finished.

"Sa among tan-aw naa ra na sa 20 percent. Guided lie kana ilang gipang-istorya," Bade said.

Bade said they would wait for the provincial board whether there is another round of hearing.

Vice governor Joey Pelaez said the provincial board will make a report which will be submitted to the Presidential Action Center in Malacanang.

"Today's committee of the whole is fact-finding in nature principally to ascertain the facts of the issue and to appropriately respond to the letter of Presidential Action Center," Pelaez said.


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