THE Municipality of Alegria, Cebu had expected its share from an oil project in the southwestern town to be P600,000 for 2018 and 2019, but so far it has received only P100,000.
Because of this, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has asked the Department of Energy (DOE) to provide a copy of detailed financial statements, including the operations cost and gross proceeds for 2018, of the oil extraction project.
Section 293 of the Local Government Code provides that “in the case of any government agency or government-owned or -controlled corporation engaged in the utilization and development of the national wealth, such share shall be directly remitted to the provincial, city, municipal or barangay treasurer concerned within five days after the end of each quarter.”
The governor said she is set to meet again with DOE officials, including Undersecretary Leonido Pulido III, to answer all her concerns in relation to the oil exploration project.
In 2018, the DOE and service contractor China International Mining Petroleum Company Limited (CIMP) signed a Joint Declaration of Commerciality after Alegria was deemed commercially viable with reserves of oil and natural gas that could last until 2037.
In a May 2018 SunStar Cebu report, Mayor Verna Magallon said 60 percent of the income from the oil field would be given to the National Government while 40 percent would go to CIMP.
The National Government’s share would then be divided among local government units: 18 percent would go to the Alegria Municipal Government, 14 percent to Barangay Montpeller, which hosts the oil field, and eight percent to the Provincial Government.
At that time, Magallon said the additional income would be used to provide more services to the people.
A fourth-class municipality, Alegria had hoped its share would help fund its annual budget.
SunStar Cebu tried to reach Magallon for comment, but she was not available as of press time. (RTF)