ANGELES CITY -- Councilor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr. has voted against the approval of ordinance ratifying the terms and conditions of the city's P287-million loan with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) during a session last September 29.

“Ako po ay bumuboto ng ‘no’ dahil ayaw ko na pong mahirapan ang ating mga kababayan lalo na ang mga tax payers. Noong nakaraan, nagpasa tayo ng ordinansa na magtataas sa singil sa real property taxes (RPT) to 300 percent. Ngayon, papasok nanaman tayo sa isang loan agreement amounting to P287 million. Sino po ba ang magbabayad nito? Saan po ba manggagaling ang ipambabayad sa loan na ito kundi sa mga tax payers din?” Lazatin said.

The loan amounting to P287 million is intended to fund various projects including the controversial P16 million fountain construction at the city's heritage district and the P110 million public cemetery.

Lazatin said other projects include the repair of various barangay halls -- P28 million, purchase of motor vehicles -- P37.7 million, establishment of a command center -- P50 million and refurbishment of the Pampang Public Market -- P50 million.

The councilor clarified that he is not against progress but the city government should know its priorities including the construction of more classrooms in public schools and purchase of new equipment for public hospitals.

“Kung titingnan po nating mabuti, napaka-ganda po ng layunin ng mga proyektong ito. Ngunit, naniniwala po tayo na makakahanap at makakaisip pa po tayo ng ibang paraan para mapondohan ang mga proyektong ito maliban sa pag-a-apply ng loan na ito na ang mga siguradong magbabayad naman ay an gating mga kababayan na hanggang ngayon ay dinaramdam pa din ang pagtataas ng 300 percent ng RPT.” Lazatin said.

Lazatin said he did not vote for the passage of the ordinance because the proposed projects lack details.

“Paano naman din po tayo boboto para ipasa ang ordinansang ito kung hanggang ngayon, wala pa din pong mga detalye itong mga proposed projects na ito. Katulad na lamang nitong public cemetery, hanggang ngayon hindi pa natin alam kung saan ang exact location,” he said.

The councilor said he is the only member of the city council who voted against the ratification of the P287,710,000 loan being pushed by the mayor and members of the council's majority bloc.