Debt Trap

The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has recently granted P1.2 billion loan for the construction of a new Angeles City Hall, an elevated parking park, a new Angeles Sports Complex and so on. Add another P1 billion for the plan of Vice Mayor Bryan Nepomuceno to the City College of Angeles if he clinches the mayorship of the city. The heavy borrowing, according to mayoral bet Alexander Cauguiran, will lead the city government to a “debt trap.”

There is no need for these projects, according to Councilor Jae Flores and Councilor Jay Sangil. The city government should realign these huge financial spending on more important matters, the duo told members of the media recently.

With a platform of simply borrowing moolah for infrastructure projects, the city government will drag its feet in a financial debt trap that will put it in heavy debt servicing. That was the contention of Cauguiran who had been criticizing Nepomuceno and the city councilors who supported him for “the enormity of its outstanding debt.”

If there is one person who knows the nitty-gritty at the Angeles City Hall, he is no other than Cauguiran, the erstwhile best friend of Angeles Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, brother, confidante, political tactician and the go-to person for almost anything that affects the city. Together, they went head-on against the powerful political clans of the city and triumphed. Now, in a twist of fate, Pamintuan supports the Nepomuceno political clan and forever dashed the hopes of Cauguiran to become mayor of Angeles City. Knowing Cauguiran, he will not take it lightly.

Says Cauguiran: “The only logical albeit ridiculous recourse for Nepomuceno to keep his campaign promise is to borrow more, further burying the city deeper into debt, which in the end will be paid by the city’s taxpayers.  Note that the total debt will leave registered voters of Angeles—around 200,000 according to the Comelec—with utang (debt) of P11,500.00 per individual Angeleño voter.”

With the additional P1.2 billion loan, each Angeleno will now have a debt of P11,500. If Bryan Nepomuceno wins, the amount of debt will increase because his platform of government is anchored on heavy borrowing. Paano po babayaran ang napakalaking utang ng city government? Baka po tataasan na naman ang singil sa mga bar girls tuwing nagpapalinis sa mga government-approved hygiene clinics.

The Angeles City Hall reportedly had an outstanding debt of P2.3 billion and the unabated borrowing will put the city further in deep financial crisis.

“This outlandish promise of Nepomuceno to spend a billion pesos on top of an outstanding billion-peso loan is reflective of his utter lack of grasp of the financial resources of the city government and an obvious display of ineptitude in sound fiscal management, according to Cauguiran.

Based on the arguments of Cauguiran, Nepomuceno is clearly not capable of running the city hall.

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