By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
SORSOGON CITY, 12Mar2015 (BicolToday.com) — The equipment upgrade needed for the provincial hospital will soon materialize after the signing of the 550 million pesos loan contract between the Province of Sorsogon and Land Bank of the Philippines here today in three separate instruments.
Signing the contract was Governor Raul Lee and Filipina Monje, First Vice-president of LBP in the presence of Vice-Governor Antonio Escudero Jr., the members of the provincial board, the finance managers of the province and Land Bank officers.
The loan package identified as Term Loan Facility No. 17 covers the acquisition of various hospital equipment for distribution to the nine district hospitals of the province and also intended for the new hospital building capable of two hundred beds.
It was appropriated for 133 million pesos.
Also included in the package are two units of air-conditioned buses and a service vehicle for the Provincial Tourism Office with an estimated cost of 21.80 million pesos.
For Term Loan Facility 18 it funded 181.40 million pesos for infrastructure programs included in the annual investment plan.
Taking the bulk is for the repair, concreting, rehabilitation of twenty four farm- to- market roads, road widening, construction of line canals, seawall, river control and slope protection.
Also part of the package is for flood control and irrigation system. Other infrastructure project included is for the completion of ABC Hall, construction of gymnasium and health center.
The third package was classified as Omnibus Term Loan 3 (OTLF 3) intended for installation of lighting facilities as equity for the Investment in Rural Enterprises and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity (I-REAP).
The I-BUILD (Intensified Building-Up of Infrastructure and Logistic for Development) was included in the package. Purchase of nine ambulance units, acquisition of rubber boats, bay cruiser diving and water sports equipment and paraphernalia, dump trucks and farm tractors.
The OTLF 3 fund covers the construction of 2 storey SP building, provincial disaster operation center, multi-purpose building, sports complex, tourism assistance center, swimming pool, cultural heritage center, women center, monument view deck, concrete kiosk, pontoon bridge and floating raft.
It will also fund the rehabilitation and improvement of the capitol building, covered court, water systems, various FMR’s, slope protection, for flood control, irrigation, riverbanks, ruins, tourism visitors center and acquisition of lot as parking area at Bulusan Lake estimated to cost 213.80 million pesos.
Before the signing, Governor Lee said that Term Loan Facility 17 will address the health care issues of the province, the modern medical equipment’s are necessary for the provincial hospital and the nine district hospitals. We have the medical and technical staff in specialized field to handle this upgrade.
Lee also mentioned that a 60 million fund was promised by Senator Francis Escudero which will be used to further upgrade the hospital equipment. With the amount he said, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine can be purchased.
Land Bank officials revealed that the initial release is fifteen percent for mobilization and subsequent release will be on tranche, depending on the accomplishment which will be jointly verified by their representative and the audit commission.
Repayment for the equipment package is eight years and for the infrastructure component for ten years with a grace period of one year.
The province will assign part of its internal revenue allotment for loan services.
According to Board Member Bernard Hao, OTLF 3 is a standby facility drawable from the bank after completion of requirements. Most important is for the program of works and cost estimates of identified projects.
He said that the signed contract needs concurrence from the board and they can only act after the governor submits it for their consideration. He believes that it will pass without difficulty.
As a pre-release requirement, the provincial board should pass an appropriation ordinance authorizing a supplemental budget for 550 million as proceeds of the loan from LBP.
The loan will be entered in the appropriate books of the province. It likewise calls for the assignment of the internal revenue allotment and other income revenues and collections as collateral or security of the loan to be obtained and will be not it is not restricted by law or any other obligations.
Another safeguard for the bank is an appropriation in the province annual budget during the loan period as loan repayment until the loan, interest and other charges are fully paid.
As a depositor of LBP, the province waived its confidentiality of information on its bank deposit and investment.
The loan stimulus carries a maximum of six percent interest and fluctuates depending on the prevailing market rates subject to annual repricing.
For the first year, only the interest rate will be collected from the deposited account of the province with LBP, and years after, it will be the principal plus the interest. [BicolToday.com]