NABUNTURAN LGU STOPS P90 M BOND FLOAT, JUNKS IT, RESORTS TO P80 M BANK BORROWING

March 17-23, 2011

For obviously failing to shore up funds by initially implementing the opposed bond flotation despite an existing court injunction, the administration of Nabunturan Mayor Romeo Clarin is doing a turnaround by resorting now to direct bank borrowing to fund the construction of the two-storey “mall-type” public market building pushed by former Mayor Macario Humol during his second and third terms since 2006.
During those terms of Humol, Clarin was the vice mayor actively supporting the much-touted P90-million bond flotation . He is now giving a thumbs up to a pending measure filed in the Sangguniang Bayan repealing the bond flotation ordinance and authorizing him to sign,contract and negotiate an P80-million loan with the Land Bank of the Philippines.
At presstime, sources said that the measure repealing Municipal Ordinance 2008-10 which authorized the P90-million bond flotation has already passed the first and second reading.
Right after the May election last year, Clarin, who just assumed as the new town mayor, Humol, who was already a plain citizen, and other pro-bond flotation officials officially launched the project in a ground-breaking ceremony, putting up a huge tarpaulin billboard at the site in the market where block tienda stalls were razed to the ground by a fire in 2005. Sooner the site was enclosed with a fence made of galvanized iron sheets.
Subsequently, words were abuzz that inside the fenced area foundation works had been made by a contractor who already spent some P20 million but which had reportedly stopped further funding the project at present while waiting for release of money buying the bonds in bulk by the Veterans Bank in Manila.
Said contractor named by sources as CCJJ construction company and represented by one Engr. Moreno had invested some P20 million to start the construction works specifically for the foundation of the market building including its architectural and engineering design that in the feasibility study made by the bond flotation financial advisor-consultant Preferred Ventures Corporation would already cost P6.7 million.
Last February 23 another fire ate up block tiendas just adjacent to the fenced site. A day after the recent fire, the gate of the fenced site was opened and visibly seen were steel trusses laying down on the ground.
The present measure while still being debated at presstime would seek to alternatively fund the project that has already eaten up three various sets of sanggunian bayans since the bond flotation financing scheme was pushed by Humol starting in year 2006 during his first term.
In 2008 midway during Humol’s second term, his bond flotation scheme was opposed by a local group of taxpayers including a good number of market vendors whose block tienda stalls were eaten up by the 2005 fire.
First the oppositors launched a people’s initiative petition as mandated by the local govenrment court to repeal the ordinance but the previous SB presided by Clarin junked the petition in its Resolution No. 2008-206 made on October 21, 2008.
Subsequently, the oppositors represented by former Councilor Alfonso Tabas, Charlie Monforte and Emilio delos Reyes went to the Regional Trial Court Branch 3 in Nabunturan and filed an injunction case with application for writ of preliminary injunction in their bid of stopping the bond flotation.
After series of hearings where various resources persons from the regional offices of the Dept. of Budget and Management (DBM) DEtp. of Finance RTC Branch 3 Executive Judge Hilarion Clapis Jr issued the writ of preliminary injunction on November 4, 2009.
The bond float oppositors, who went to court last year in trying to stop the bond float project, have welcomed Clarin’s turnaround saying that they feel that they and the people of the Nabunturan have been vindicated of their opposition to the bond flotation. (v&cc)

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