MOA of 350 million loan ratified

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Sorsogon Provincial Capitol Building. Photo by BicolToday.com
Sorsogon Provincial Capitol Building. Photo by BicolToday.com

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

Copyright 2011 BicolToday.com. All rights reserved.  Read BicolToday.com Syndication Policy.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Before I start my opinion, I would like to inform the readers of BicolToday.com that I am not connected to any politicians in Sorsogon. I am just an ordinary citizen who would like to see our province at the top of the ballgame of progress.

    I have always been in touch with Sorsogon politics especially that my friend’s family and their relatives are in the business of politics. But once in a while I need a break from it all, especially right now that confusion of local public officials is becoming sober. I consider myself a conservative on a majority of the issues, but of course I base my opinions on issues individually. Moreover, I would like to express my opinion about the 350M loan that was ratified recently.

    When I bumped into this article, I was a bit worried and I thought about what lies ahead for Sorsogon province? We all know that our province have only improved a little in the past decades because of rampant corruption and abused of power. Proof of this is the fact that we still belong to the Poorest Provinces in the Philippines. This loan will definitely make our province poorer, (aside from the debts that our province had incurred in the past) and it will take its toll to the taxpayers if this gets approved. The people will take the hit for it, now that the deal has come to its final destiny. Let me clear this out: I am good if this will be used for worthwhile projects but if this will go directly to the pocket of the corrupt politicians, then by all means I am against it.

    Let me quote the article, “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.”

    Granting that this accusation is true, and then something is wrong with the process? What happened to the Standard Operating Procedure? This is betrayal of Public Thrust, isn’t it? If this kind of scenario has been happening in our province, there is no doubt that we have not progressed as a province for the past decades. I certainly know that there are numerous factors why we are still considered one of the poorest provinces in the Philippines, and one of the major reasons is “corruption”. Whether we like it or we like, we have allowed them to take advantage of us and abused us until they have left us into pieces ready to be picked up by another corrupt leader.

    Your guess is probably good as mine but I have observed in our province that the dynamic-context based approach to corruption at local level is based on the assumption that corruption is basically a manifestation of political economic dysfunction. This phenomenon is an outcome of power struggle. Seriously, I have never been impressed with local politics; maybe because our local politicians are buffoons. Almost all are unscrupulous and lack integrity and common sense. Furthermore, I just hope that there will be an audit that will be conducted for projects that will be done. If there is little or no accounting for the fact that the persistence of weak institutions of governance may, for instance, benefit powerful predatory interests under certain conditions, or that the particular design of decentralization may reflect a particular constellation of power rather than some imagined objective common good.

    I couldn’t agree more when a friend told me that there has to be some serious effort of implementing public accountability and reformed justice system. The political economic of corruption in Sorsogon is viewed as the tug of war between those who are hungry for power. Which groups dominated local political economic scene will determine the pervasiveness of corruption at local level. The effort of dealing with corruption is argued to depend on the effort to weaken or strengthen the political economic basis of those groups.
    Even though it is obvious that leader is guilty, who the people will elect to replace him? I may be wrong, but all the public servants are guilty of graft and corruption. It is just a matter of how much you took and how much you give to the province in terms of what they did for Sorsogon. These public officials spend the taxpayer money as if they own them and are asking for more. As they always say, “a government should be for the people by the people, not by personal interest, it should be for the good of all not just majority.”

    Should I stop caring for Sorsogon? I’ll think about it.

    • So far this is a very objective comments I ever read on this site..I suggest that you continue what your doing for the province of Sorsogon. I think we are only few here that truly cares for a genuine change in our government but the process is quite long, since only few too, embrace this IDEA of change, it seems some of the people here are passive or simply just don’t want to deep their fingers..I don’t know what lies ahead for the Province but I keep my FAITH that soon God will intervene and expose the wrong doings of this abuse officials.

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