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Capitol eyes P20-M bank loan

By: Fe Marie Dumaboc, Melissa Q. Cabahug December 30,2014 - 02:37 AM

For the first time after more than a decade, the Cebu Provincial Government will  avail of a P200 million bank loan for the purchase of heavy equipment.

The Capitol is also asking the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Office of the President for a P20-million financial aid which will be used to help indigent Cebuanos pay for their hospital, burial, food  and educational expenses.

As for the funds it will borrow, the province will make sure to pay the loan in full before the 2016 elections so that the next administration will not be burdened by debt servicing, said Gov. Hilario Davide III.

The governor plans to buy three sets of heavy equipment. Each set will have a bulldozer, backhoe, grader, and dump truck which will be used to maintain existing provincial roads and open new ones.

“Apiki ta sa atong pondo (We’re in a financial  bind),” he said.

Provincial Board Member Peter John Calderon said that the Capitol’s Annual Investment Plan contains a P150-million allocation for the purchase of heavy equipment, but the money needed could reach P300 million.

Calderon pointed out that this will be the first time that the Capitol will avail of a loan, citing former governor Gwendolyn Garcia’s policy against borrowing money.

“But depende man gud na sa policy sa nag lingkod (It depends on who’s running the province),” said Calderon, adding that he respects the decision of the governor.

The Provincial Board in its special session yesterday morning approved a resolution authorizing Davide to negotiate with  financial institutions for the heavy equipment purchase.

Davide explained that the purchase will entail a lot of money, and Capitol’s funds are already earmarked for some projects “so we felt that we will just have to borrow.”

“It’s been a tough year for this administration but despite the challenges that came our way, we got by,” he added.

He said the province’s resources were spent on disaster response and rehabilitation and the upgrading of four district hospitals into provincial hospitals by giving them operating rooms, among other projects.

The Capitol, he said, also spent P19 million alone for its San Fernando road project and another P15 million for the Tuburan road project.

“The Province of Cebu is willing to undertake appropriate negotiations and enter into agreement with any competent financial institution that offers the best possible terms beneficial to the provincial government,” the Board stated in a resolution sponsored by Calderon.

Davide admitted that even before the Board authority was granted, his office has already been  discussing with government banks to look for the best offer.

But the selection of the winning bank, he stressed, will be made through public bidding.

With several typhoons visiting the country, having sets of heavy equipment is important especially during clearing operations after every calamity, Davide said.

Despite the Capitol’s fiscal constraints, the governor said he is still grateful for the blessings that the province experienced this year, especially having been spared from severe damage from typhoons. /Correspondent Melissa Q. Cabahug with Fe Marie D. Dumaboc

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TAGS: Cebu Provincial Government, fiscal management, LGU, loans

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