'We are not derailing any project'

PORAC -- Councilor Regin Clarete defended Sunday his fellow councilors here after being accused of derailing the progress of this town when they deferred the approval of the P30-million road project for Barangay Sapang Uwak here.

The road project is aimed at concreting the access road towards the Mt. Pinatubo Eco-Tourism Park.

“We are not derailing any project. What we want are projects that have undergone enough evaluation so as not to disadvantage the interest of the municipality and the people,” Clarete said.

Mayor Condralito dela Cruz and Vice Mayor Dexter David had earlier assailed councilors Mike Tapang, Remberto Lapid, Rafael Canlapan and Ronaldo Gamboa for the non-approval.

Clarete said that while the project is being funded by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), they do not agree with one of the provisions contained in the proposed Memorandum of Agreement on the project.

Clarete said that Article II of the agreement said that “The Municipality shall complete the project for its own account in the event the project cost is insufficient to cover the actual cost and related expenses.”

He added that they are encouraging TIEZA Office to fully shoulder the project so as not to burden the municipal government of any eventual expenses

He stressed that it was already contained in the promised programs of Mayor Dela Cruz to devote some P20 million for the development of the eco park.

He added that the councilors saw it wise to defer their decision on the matter fearing to make a mistake of double funding.

Clarete also urged the two executives not to politicize the issue.

“A council that does the will of the executive could not consider itself independent,” Clarete said in the vernacular, adding that the loyalty of the councilors is not towards the executive but the people.

Clarete also said that Barangay Sapang Uwak is still part of the land dispute in this town stressing that issues should be settled first before implementing programs.

David and Dela Cruz also assailed Tapang’s group for disapproving the funds of the “Iskolar ng Bayan” beneficial to poor students, the dialysis center and the purchase of a property to house the extension/satellite offices of the municipal government, including the police and fire stations pushed by Governor Lilia Pineda.

Clarete said that they have turned down such projects for lack of detailed program of works.

He added that they have repeatedly urged the executive to be transparent with its programs.

As for the dialysis center, Clarete said that his fellow councilors have turned the proposal down on issues of sustainability.

Clarete added that the town does not need to purchase additional land as it has already existing properties (like Porac gymnasium) that it can develop and that Mayor Dela Cruz had initially promised to donate land to the municipality for infrastructure projects.

"Our mayoral candidate, Board Member Mike Tapang, is urging the incumbent mayor to participate in a public debate so that once and for all, the people of Porac will be able to come up with a proper judgment on various issues concerning our municipality," Clarete said.

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