By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
SORSOGON CITY (Oct. 21, 2011/BicolToday.com) – The Sanggunian Panlalawigan of Sorsogon today in a special session called for the purpose, ratified unanimously the Memorandum of Agreement entered with the Land Bank of the Philippines and LGU Sorsogon Province the 350 million loan the province will use for infrastructure and other omnibus projects which according to the remarks of Board Member Angelo Escandor will fast track economic development of the province. In less than 30 minutes the measure as requested through a letter by Governor Lee to Vice-Governor Antonio Escudero, Jr. was approved.
The ratified loan agreement is in two tranche, 100 million for term loan financing the road opening, rehabilitation of farm to market roads, rechanneling and construction of river control and bank protection walls and 250 million for omnibus term loan fund (OTLF) meaning all other special funding projects that are included in the annual investment plan of the province can be source out from the fund.
In the OTLF 50 million was earmarked for tourism promotion. Documents circulated to the members of the board prior to the MOA signing in LBP, Legaspi City, revealed that the first district funding is 111,900 million and the second district will receive 188,100 million worth of projects. This document bear the marginal note of the governor, it reads; “final, subject to change if need arises.” signed by him.
The ratification signals the preparation of a board resolution and subsequent appropriation ordinance detailing the project and its cost to be submitted to LBP to perfect the agreement. The lone oppositor , Member Vladimir Frivaldo was absent, instead he circulated a letter opposing the ratification of the MOA addressed to Vice-Governor Escudero, Jr. which was property noted after the motion to approve the agreement was done. In attendance are Members Hao, Ravanilla, Maraña, Rodrigueza, Perete, Frivaldo F. Duran, Aquino, Doma, Dioneda and Escandor, all known political allies of the governor.
The term loan 13 for 100 million mode of payment is 10 years with 1 year grace period, the principal payment will be in 108 equal monthly amortization at the prevailing prime rate at the time of availment. Its mode of release per project is 15% of the approved amount upon execution of the loan documents and compliance with pre-release requirements, then succeeding release s is based on percentage of completion. The final release is at 10% of the approved amount after 100 percent completion of the project. In the package it is allowed to change or substitute of submitted, approved projects subjects to conditions of LBP. The loan is available to province within 1 year from the date of execution of the loan agreement.
The Omnibus Term Loan Fund of 250 million mode of payment is up to 15 years maximum if funded under special financing, if internally funded up to 10years. It carries the banks prevailing prime rate at the time of availment or applicable special financing rate, its availability is three years from date of approval with a colatilla that at least one project is started within the first year of approval.
When reached for comment Board Member Vladimir Frivaldo said that never in the records of the Sanggunian Panlalawigan that Gobvernor Lee requested the Body for review the evaluation made by the Land Bank of the Philippines of the proposed 350 million loan of Sorsogon province, per certification of Otilla Marifosque, Records Officer III which was duly noted by William Delgado, SP Secretary. He was questioning the manner why such relevant documents were not accorded to the members of the legislative board and why if attachment were submitted to LBP such attachments are not made available to the members for a thorough evaluation.
In his information, the program of works, name of projects and other details were submitted to LBP and its only him among the members who is interested in finding out the final listings of projects attached to the loan package. He lamented the indifference of certain provincial engineering personnel whom he did not identified for they are so beholden to the governor for their extra income and promotion. BicolToday.com
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