2008 ‘goat house’ funded by Cuenco’s pork barrel in barangay Taptap, Cebu City lies idle

By Ador Vincent S. Mayol |September 18,2013 - 08:30 AM
A big empty shed with concrete posts and a tin sheet roof is all that’s left of the “goat house” built for over P600,000 from the pork barrel of former Rep. Antonio Cuenco of Cebu city’s south district.

No goats were seen grazing on site in the mountain barangay of Taptap in Cebu City when Cebu Daily News visited yesterday. In fact, no goats have ever used the shelter.

Except for a hammock, the 10 by 10 meter structure built in 2006 was empty.

Rose bushes, vegetables and fruit trees are being grown in the land around it, tended by Cebu city agriculture office personnel.

The “goat house” built by WIN Construction was part of a P14.7 million allotment from Cuenco’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) channeled to the Department of Agriculture and then to Guadaluape barangay c aptain Eugenio “Jinjing” Faelnar to implement.

Faelnar in an interview this week explained that he didn’t proceed with the original plan to buy hybrid goats because he found the price of P57,000 per goat too costly. He said he returned that portion of P7.6 million to the DA Regional office in Cebu City.

The “goat house”, built at a recorded cost of P664,654.91 is part of the PDAF expenses of Cuenco still under investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas.

“Wala gyud nay gamit kanang lugara. Ingon sila butangan nila og kanding apan hangtud karon wala gyud. Nag usik-usik lang gyud na sila sa kwarta sa mga tawo. (The goat house is obviously useless. They said they would put goats there but until now it never happened. They’re just wasting public funds),” Taptap barangay captain Florentina Malazarte told Cebu Daily News.

Malazarte, who became the village chief in 2010, said the goat house wasn’t turned over to the barangay.

She also didn’t know who’s in charge, although CDN noted that City Hall’s agricutlure office was

“Ambot kon unsaun na. Maayo pag ila nang gub-on. Ang nahimutangan anang goat house layo kaayo sa syudad. (I don’t know what they plan to do with that. It would be better to have the structure destroyed because it’s so far from the city proper),” she said.

The shed’s GI sheet roof has holes and the iron railings are rusty, signs of years of lack of maintenance.

A farmer who requested anonymity said they sometimes use the goat house for meetings.

He expressed surprise at the location since Taptap belongs to Cebu City’s north district. Cuenco represented the city’s south district.

The farmer said they sometimes used the goat house as a meeting room.

The P14.7 million PDAF allocation was supposed to be for a tree seedling and goat raising project of the Department of Agriculture and Cebu city barangays, through Faelnar as president of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC).

Faelnar insits he has records of distribution of seedlings to various city barangays. The recorded cost of the seedlings is P6.2 million

Some Tapap farmers said they received seedlings from the barangay in 2006 but didn’t know where they came from.

Rodel Borres, 69, yesterday showed fruit-bearing trees under his care, given to him as seedling by barangay officials.

He showed five rambutan trees, three lanzones trees, three durian trees, five marang trees, and 18 mango trees.

He said he didn’t have a chance to sell any of it in the market because the furits were consumed by his family. Borres has six children.

Faelnar is under investigation by the Ombudsman in relation to the non-existent goat raising project.

Of the total P14,791,346.69 in pork barrel funds from Cuenco’s PDAF, Faelnar disbursed P6.2 million to WM Sprouts Center for the purchase of varous seedlings.

Faelnar says he has records of the beneficiaries who received the seedlings. /Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Reporter

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