Alegria town seeks P47.6M loan for trucks, heavy equipment

Alegria town seeks P47.6M loan for trucks, heavy equipment
SunStar Alegria

DUE to limited funds for pre-disaster preparedness, the Municipality of Alegria, a fourth-class municipality in southwestern Cebu, will apply for a loan of more than P47 million to procure trucks and heavy equipment.

The Municipality got the approval of the Cebu Provincial Board on Monday, July 1, 2024, authorizing the town to borrow P47.6 million from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

If the DBP approves the loan, the funds will be utilized to acquire two hydraulic excavators with dozers, a 4x2 boom truck with a man-lift, a stainless water sprinkler capable of holding 12,000 liters of water, and a 4x4 water truck capable of storing 4,000 liters of water.

Jesus Rey Cavalida, municipal planning and development coordinator, in an interview on Thursday, July 4, said the effects of Typhoon Odette (Super Typhoon Rai) in 2021, exposed how unprepared they were for post-disaster operations.

“Lessons [were] learned from Odette...in our view, Odette really made landfall in the town of Alegria. In fact, there was a lot of damage; the 1.5-kilometer road in Madridejos, Alegria was completely washed out, and on the other side, the bridge was also destroyed,” he told SunStar Cebu in Cebuano. Cavalida is also the designated public information officer of Alegria.

SunStar Cebu tried to get the breakdown of the funding requirement for each piece of equipment; however, Cavalida has yet to provide it as of writing.

He said taking out a loan from the DBP was necessary to fund the town’s post-disaster activities.

Cavalida identifies the use of the equipment as an “effective and efficient delivery of services” to move barangay road openings and river convergence and as part of the preparation for the rainy season.

“We are very happy that the Provincial Board has approved our application for our loan and will proceed in the processing of the loan application with the banking institution,” he said.

Limited funds

According to Cavalida, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office has a five percent allocation out of the annual budget of the town.

He, however, did not divulge how much is the current annual budget of Alegria.

Of the five percent allocation for disaster funds, only 70 percent, or P5,706,385, can be used for pre-disaster preparations for the entire 2024. The remaining 30 percent of the five percent can only be used upon a declaration of a state of calamity.

“With all these, mahinay ug gamay lang gyud ang atong funds for a particular project, programs, and activities (With all these, our project accomplishment is slow, because we really don’t have enough funds.)

‘Lesson learned’

Cavalida said that LGU not just learned but also “accepted the reality” that although they have a basic existing number of heavy equipment, the need for more advanced heavy equipment is much needed even post-disaster.

Cavalida said they have yet to get the terms of the loan as they are still in the process of complying with the loan application requirements. / CDF

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