ITOGON, Benguet – Mayor Victorio T. Palangdan clarified that the P70 million loan that the municipal government plans to acquire from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) passed through the prescribed procedures under existing laws, rules and regulations to put up a multipurpose building that will contribute in the overall efforts to improve the delivery of basic services to the people.
He explained that the fund will be used to rehabilitate and upgrade the existing gymnasium which is considered the oldest gymnasium in the province having been built in the 1950s to serve as a multipurpose building that will have an underground parking, an improved gymnasium, an evacuation center and offices for national government agencies operating in the municipality among other similar purposes.
Mayor Palangdan pointed out that it took more than a year for the municipal government to secure the approval of the municipal council and the provincial board and complete the required documents for the acquisition of the loan that will be used for the greater interest of the people in the municipality.
Previously, he claimed that the municipal government was able to work out the put up of the legislative building, the agriculture building and the put up of an agriculture high school that is why it also plans to put up the multipurpose building to be able to accommodate the offices of national agencies existing in the locality aside from having an established evacuation center and parking for vehicles of people wanting to transact business with the government offices.
According to him, one of the problems of people transacting business with the different government offices is the inadequate parking spaces in the municipal grounds that is why the local government opted to acquire the loan for the realization of the desired project.
On the issue raised that the funds should be used for the opening of roads to the remote barangays of the municipality, the mayor emphasized that it will take hundreds of millions of pesos to implement such projects and the local government cannot afford to loan the said amount aside from the fact that it is the obligation of the national government to provide the funds for the same.
Palangdan stated that earlier, the municipal engineering office declared the oldest gymnasium is already dilapidated and is supposed to be uninhabitable but there are some offices of national agencies and constitutional bodies that hold office there because of the many people transacting business with the said offices.
While it is true that Itogon is a first-class municipality, he admitted that it is not capable of acquiring a loan more than what had been approved by the financial lending institution as the same is based on the projected income of the local government and its ability to repay the same within the prescribed period of time to do so.
The local chief executive stipulated that the criticisms being hurled against the loan is obviously politically motivated because the one that posted his thoughts on the matter has future political ambitions, particularly for the position of the province’s line district that is why he is trying to gain media mileage for his own personal and political interest. By HENT