Espinoza: Buy or rent?

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One of the acts that Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia did after he assumed the post of acting mayor following the suspension of Mayor Michael Rama was to suspend the procurement of items in the preparation for the holding of the Palarong Pambansa in July 2024.

In hosting the Palarong Pambansa this year, the City Government allocated P405 million for this multi-sport event involving student-athletes from 17 regions of the country with P200 million coming from general funds and P205 million from the supplemental budget.

Acting Mayor Garcia ordered last May 20 the three-day suspension of all procurement processes in relation to the Palarong Pambansa for evaluation that included the rental of portalets, portabaths and other items proposed by Councilor Donaldo Hontiveros, now the acting vice mayor, being the chairman of the committee on sports.

In a press conference on Tuesday, May 28, Garcia said the City Government will no longer spend P18 million to rent portalets and portabaths for the Palaro. He said he sent a letter to the bids and awards committee (BAC) on Monday, May 27, to formalize the cancellation of the procurement process. Garcia said renting portalets and portabaths with showers was not “economically, financially and technically feasible.”

The 248 portalets and 230 portabaths that will be distributed to the 20 different schools where the athletes will be billeted were requested by the Local School Board. But the acting mayor said he was not saying the City would not rent, he only wanted BAC to review and determine what was necessary and needed.

Acting Vice Mayor Hontiveros defended his budget proposal for the rent of the portalets and portabaths, stating that it was less expensive and more cost-effective than buying new ones. He said the portalets and portabaths would be used for 17 days from June 30 until July 16 for the convenience of the athletes.

According to Hontiveros, the P18 million budget for the rent of portalets and portabaths was even less than the appropriated fund of P22 million. The budget already included logistics, installation and the cleaning and maintenance of the portalets and portabaths, he added.

Hontiveros opined that for the City to buy new portalets or portabaths would be costly since the City would have to shell out around P75,000 to P90,000 for each unit. This amount, he said, did not include additional expenses for storage and maintenance.

So what’s up, Mayor? Buy or rent? For the portalets and portabaths, I believe it would be economical for the City to rent, Experience tells us that local government units are incapable of keeping things at their best state. Look at those garbage compactor trucks. These now look unsanitary and rickety.


EDUCATION. The Danao City Government should be hailed and emulated by other local government units for holding seminars and information, education and communication campaigns on the aspect of environmental management. This is what communities and the people need to be aware of how to care for our environment.

The Danao City Environment and Natural Resources Office conducted a seminar on water conservation and solid waste management at the barangay level, enhancement of skills training on recycling and an extensive information, education and communication campaign on ecological solid waste management and plastic ordinance, reaching both public and private schools in the city. The event was in collaboration with the Environmental Management Bureau 7.

I wish Danao City will next hold an education seminar in collaboration with the LTO (Land Transportation Office) and LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) on traffic laws, rules and regulations to put sanity back on our roads and avoid road accidents.


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