NEWS: Municipal councilors baffled on P40 M loan for Nabunturan bond float

The P40 million borrowing approved by the majority in Tuesday’s session of the Sangguniang Bayan of Nabunturan has baffled three councilors opposing the controversial P90-million bond flotation which is starting to be fully underway at present.

Opposing Councilors Raul Caballero, Alfonso “Jun” Tabas Jr and Editha Arangcon were reportedly confused over the item “P40 million borrowing” included in the P42.84-million second supplemental budget ordinance that was passed after Vice Mayor Romeo Clarin reportedly cut short Tabas by suddenly calling for the voting of the measure with words “para mahuman na ni” (so this will end).

By that, Tabas was reportedly restrained while on the thick of debating amidst the alleged ganging up of the majority members on him.
The pro-bond float majority immediately voted and passed the budget ordinance following rowdy deliberation with the questioning minority councilors.

Tabas said in an interview that he was confused over the purpose and source of the borrowing, which has not specified any government financing institution.

He said that the P40-million borrowing was not a transparent item as it neither said of a bank nor said it would go for the bond flotation’s obligations.

Caballero, on the other hand, said that the measure rushed by the majority only confirmed the suspicion that under the bond flotation the municipal government would borrow after all contrary to what has been propagandized earlier that the scheme would not contract a loan but only source money from the bond float investors.

In the budget ordinance sought as urgent by Mayor Macario Humol, the P40-million borrowing was stated to be the budget for the construction of the commercial market complex, the object of the bond float project.

Also on Tuesday’s session a resolution was approved by the majority which lifted the confidentiality of the bank accounts of the municipal government in its depository bank, Land Bank of the Philippines in so far as the Department of Finance and the Central Bank are concerned.

Proponents said it was a requirement under the bond flotation project to allow the DoF and Central Bank to assess the financial standing including the Internal Revenue Allotment remittances for the proponent local government unit.

As required, the DoF would still assess the feasibility study of the project before it will make its endorsement for the final go signal for the funding start of the project.

As this developed, bond float oppositors have reportedly heightened their signature campaign to repeal the controversial ordinance under the people’s initiative provision as spelled out under the Local Government Code.

Also on Tuesday, oppositors mostly coming from the market vendors whose stalls were gutted by fire three years ago signed the petition at the open municipal gym at the public market. They were joined in by the minority councilors.

The town’s market vendors have been apprehensive that the project would dislocate them from their livelihood as the proposed public market building has high monthly rentals amounting to not less than P10,500 for the minimum 10-square meter stall based on the approved project’s feasibility study.

The bond float has been criticized to be exorbitant and expensive project that the oppositors said would not only dislocate the lowly market vendors but also strain the delivery of basic government services in the next ten years after the term of the last-termer mayor.

They said that that the town’s IRA is made the sinking-fund source and collateral for the obligations attendant to bond float. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)


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