Council: JVR didn’t receive nod for pact

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

CITY officials questioned the agreement that Talisay City Mayor Johnny De los Reyes signed allowing a private contractor to extract sand and gravel from the Mananga River.

The council said the agreement between the mayor and private contractor Quirante Construction (QCON) did not have the authority of the legislative body.

But in a separate interview, de los Reyes said he signed the contract with the contractor so that City Hall can get a share of sand and gravel taken from the river.


He said the sand and gravel can be used as filling materials for barangay projects.

Sun.Star Cebu was able to secure a copy of the agreement from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office.

Under the agreement, the City Government required QCON to give 50 percent of the “waste materials” it excavated from the Mananga River to the City. The agreement would be effective once a Special Disposal Permit from the Cebu Provincial Government is released.

The private contractor was hired by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Central Visayas to conduct desilting of the Mananga River.

The agreement was signed by De los Reyes and QCON chief executive officer Jonathan Quirante. A copy of the agreement was reportedly forwarded to the Talisay City Council.

But Villarante denied receiving a copy of the agreement or a notice that it be discussed in the council.

“If the agreement exists, it’s highly questionable. It has to undergo scrutiny before the City Council,” he said.

He said the council has not given de los Reyes authority to enter into an agreement with QCON.

In a separate interview, Talisay City Councilor Antonio Bacaltos Jr. said that he was surprised by the existence of the agreement. He said he had warned City Hall about the continued extraction of sand and gravel at the Mananga River.

Bacaltos, who chairs the committee on environment, plans to question the transaction made by de los Reyes before the City Council’s next session.

The Cebu City Government earlier stopped sand and gravel extraction activities on the Mananga River in Barangay Bonbon.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 28, 2014.

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