Cauguiran questions loan legality

Angeles City – The Angeles City government’s controversial P1.22 billion loan took yet another turn as a mayoralty bet formally sought proofs that the ordinances and resolutions concerning the loan and its uses have been published as required by law.

KAMBILAN official candidate Alexander S. Cauguiran disclosed that in his letter dated November 19, 2018 addressed to Vice Mayor Bryan Nepocenumo, he requested for “certified true copies” of the publication of the supplementary budget ordinance that appropriated P1 billion for the construction of a new city hall (P560 million), multi-level steel parking (P60 million), and sports complex (P380 million).

Cauguiran said that Section 59 (d) of the Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991 explicitly provides that: “In the case of highly urbanized and independent component cities, the main features of the ordinance or resolution duly enacted or adopted shall, in addition to being posted, be published once in a local newspaper of general circulation within the city: Provided, that in the absence thereof the ordinance or resolution shall be published in any newspaper of general circulation.” This requisite that has been affirmed by the Supreme Court, he added.

Cauguiran said that he also requested for proofs of the publication of the ordinance ratifying the terms and conditions of the loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines. “Aside from the ordinances, I have also requested that the vice mayor, who is the presiding officer of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, to furnish us authenticated documents proving that the resolutions on the Annual Investment Plan (AIP) concerning the loan have been published as required by law,” Cauguiran added.

“In addition to proofs of publication,” Cauguiran said, “I have requested certified copies of the disbursement vouchers with corresponding check numbers and supporting documents, and official receipts issued by the publisher of the publication where the ordinances and resolutions were published.”

“This is the second time I wrote a formal letter to the vice mayor concerning the loan. The first was when I requested him and Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan to amend the original budget ordinance by appropriating the P1 billion for the expansion and improvement of the Ospital Ning Angeles (ONA) and the City College of Angeles (CCA),” Cauguiran said.

Cauguiran has argued that the construction of a new city hall, a multi-level parking, and sports center is not essential under the prevailing conditions where the Ospital Ning Angeles (ONA) had to refuse patients due to “lack of space, medicines and medical equipment,” particularly in cases of emergency. “Improving our hospital is a matter of life and death to many ordinary residents, while constructing a new city hall is just a case of keeping up with the facilities of other urbanized cities.” he added.

“A city’s reputation,” Cauguiran said, “rises or falls with the quality of its basic services, the most basic of which are health and education. Of what use is a new 5-storey city hall, when our hospital itself needs to be saved to be able to save lives?”

“On the other hand, building more classrooms and improving the facilities at the City College of Angeles (CCA) is definitely more beneficial to our young residents who cannot afford to pursue their college studies in private schools,” Cauguiran.

“While I have not yet received a reply from my first letter, I am certain that our city government officials are well aware of President Duterte’s Executive Order No. 2. Series of 2016, concerning full disclosure and transparency in public service.” he said.