Provincial Treasurer nixes P194M fund release for resource center project
CEBU CITY, Philippines — After the administration expressed opposition on the construction of the P20-story resource center, the Provincial Treasurer has disallowed the release of a P194-million voucher intended for the mobilization of the civil works of the project.
Provincial Treasurer Roy Salubre disapproved the disbursement voucher named under WT Construction, Inc., the contractor of the project, and noted that “No payment shall be made.”
The voucher supposedly asked for the disbursement of P194,849,570 as mobilization or advance payment for the contractor.
The ground works for the project has started since February 2019.
“[This is for the] Release of 15 percent Mobilization Fee or Advance Payment for the project ‘Construction of Proposed 20-story Office Building with Basement Parking at the Capitol Road, Escario Street corner Villalon Drive, Cebu City,'” reads the specification of the voucher.
Salubre, who is on leave, has not noted any explanation as to why he disapproved the release of the funds.
Outgoing Governor Hilario Davide III, in a separate interview, said he had neither been notified of the move of the Provincial Treasurer nor given a copy of the junked voucher yet.
The camp of Governor-elect Gwendolyn Garcia, however, has been vocal of having no intention to pursue the project once she assumes office this June 30.
Lawyer Marino Martinquilla, Garcia’s counsel, said the contractor would be “working at their own risk” if they would continue the ground development despite Garcia’s pronouncement that the building was not part of her program of government.
“Its good that the treasurer has put down and disapproved the voucher. In effect, it has put a closure to the issue (whether the project will continue),” Martinquilla said.
Davide earlier said that the decision whether the project would continue or not would be up to the court.
A petition for injunction filed by Garcia and outgoing third district Board Member Alex Binghay against the project is pending at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Toledo City./dbs
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