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Thursday, January 17, 2019

P600-M Carcar City Center will have to await fruition

GETTING the Provincial Board’s (PB) approval for Carcar City’s P600-million loan application for the construction of the Carcar City Center will not be easy.

The PB referred City Ordinance 4-15 to the committee on laws and review on ordinances after it learned that a portion of the lot the City wants to acquire for the project is under litigation.

Mayor Nicepuro Apura said they filed an expropriation case for three hectares of the 25-hectare property in Poblacion III and Valladolid.

The case is pending.

Apura, Vice Mayor Patrick Barcenas and members of the City Council attended the PB’s regular session yesterday to answer questions regarding the project.

The City wants to borrow P600 million from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) for phase one of the city center.

The amount will cover the construction the new city hall, public transport terminal and public market.

The buildings will cost P350 million, P90 million and P160 million, respectively.

In his speech, PB Member Raul Alcoseba, who had invited the city officials to the session, said Ordinance 4-15 appears to have no basis because it does not show that the City has the capacity to pay, which is the primary requirement in a case like this.

“The ordinance seems to have shown no basis to borrow the huge sum as no approved feasibility study has been submitted to justify the City is capable to pay the money to be borrowed,” he said.

Apura said the City will use its Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to pay off the loan.

He pointed out that the City’s IRA has been increasing annually.

He said the City has already acquired 10 hectares for the project.

PB Member Grecilda Sanchez referred the matter to the committee on laws and review on ordinances, which is chaired by PB Member Joven Mondigo Jr. because “the lot where the building to be put in place has a legal issue.”

Mondigo said the PB has a reviewing authority to check a project that a local government unit wants to enter into.

The mayor was asked to submit a feasibility study and position paper for the project.

Fernando Lagahid, regional marketing director of DBP, said they will not entertain the loan until everything is in place.

“We will not release a single centavo on the project that there is a questionable ownership of property,” he said.

Councilor Roy Velez, for his part, said he is worried that public services might be compromised because of the huge amount that the City wants to borrow.

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