Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Nalzaro: Davide’s ‘resbak’


GOV. Hilario Davide III is doing a “resbak” (Tagalog term for revenge) to members of the Provincial Board who did not vote for the resolution that would authorize him to enter into a contract with the winning bidder for the construction of the 20-story Provincial Resource Center inside the Capitol compound. In the PB’s last session of 2018, Davide failed to get the authority to enter into contract with WT Construction, the winning bidder for the building, which will be constructed at the old Bureau of Agricultural Extension (Baex) building.

Sources said that as “resbak,” Davide did not renew the employment of the job order employees assigned to the offices of “opposition” Provincial Board members. Job order employees’ contracts are renewable every six months and would start every January. The concerned PB members are now complaining of lack of personnel.

PB members who did not support the resolution were former Davide allies but who are now inclined to support third district Rep. Gwen Garcia’s bid for governor in the May elections against Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale. Davide slid down to the vice gubernatorial position.

Well, this usually happens when the chief executive plays politics. He is the appointing authority and nobody can question his prerogative. But for me this is a sort of a pressure. I understand that the same resolution will be presented again before the PB. Magpale, who is the presiding officer, tried to call a special session last December but there was lack of quorum.

Is Davide pressuring the PB to support his project? But why should he resort to this unethical action? Why punish the innocent employees when they had nothing to do with the decisions of their bosses? This is unfair. Instead of pressuring the PB, why won’t the governor talk with them nicely and convince them of the project’s good intention?

Why can’t Davide convince the majority of the PB members to support him? Because he cannot offer good justification to pursue the project? I have said this before: the construction of that building is not a priority.

What’s the use of that building? To decongest the old one? The old Capitol building is still intact and will not also be abandoned. In fact, it can still accommodate the volume of people transacting business there. Meanwhile, the new building will not solely be occupied by Capitol offices. Part of it will be rented out for commercial purposes.

Davide dismissed proposals, especially from architects, not to construct the building in the compound as it will affect the view of the Capitol building, which has been declared a historical and heritage landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). Davide, for reasons only known to him, played deaf to the opposition’s arguments.

The Provincial Government has applied for a loan amounting to P1.5 billion from the Development Bank of the Philippines to finance the construction of the building. Why is Davide so obsessed with the project? Is it because it’s election year? Your guess is as good as mine.


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