Capitol’s debts

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

CONTRACTORS and suppliers of projects the Provincial Government implemented during the administration of former governor Gwen Garcia are lining-up at the Capitol to collect payments. The total collectibles reached P700 million.

But they got disappointed upon learning that Gov. Hilario “Junjun” Davide III won’t pay them because when these projects were implemented these did not have the approval of the then Provincial Board (PB).

Davide sees a possible repercussion with the Commission on Audit (COA) if he pays the contractors and suppliers. He might face criminal and administrative cases. His hands are handcuffed because of COA rules and regulations.


Because of the governor's adamant stand, the contractors and suppliers have threatened to go to court. Well, that’s their last option.

You know how our judicial system works, especially in civil cases or in collection of debts. Abtan tag siyam-siyam diha sa korte.

The contractors and suppliers cannot recover their capital pending litigation. And what will happen to their other projects? If they don't have huge capital these other projects will be put on hold. That is the delicate side of it.

These contractors and suppliers should blame the former governor and not the incumbent governor. Junjun just inherited these problems from Gwen.

When she was the governor, Gwen did not respect the legislative body, which is supposed to be a co-equal branch with the executive department. She imposed her whims even if her actions need the concurrence of the PB, especially on appropriation matters.

The vision and mission of Gwen for the improvement of the province, especially in implementing infrastructure projects, was not enough justification for her to bypass the authority of the Board. She should have followed legal procedures.

But what was also lamentable on the part of the PB during Gwen's time was it did not assert its right even though majority of its members were party mates of the governor.

Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale was already a PB member. Maybe they were afraid of being
confronted by the governor.

This serves as a lesson to all chief executives that they should strictly follow the law. They should adhere to the policy of “checks and balance” to avoid liabilities in every transaction.

Also, contractors and suppliers should be sure that before they start a project they should see to it that all transactions are above-board.


The damage brought about by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake on the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) will cost the Provincial Government some P100 million. This is to fix or retrofit the facility.

As of this time, that facility cannot be used as it suffered a major damage. And if it will not be fixed, it will remain idle and cannot deliver revenues. It will eventually become a “white elephant.”

Provincial Government officials said that they will ask the national government, through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Tourism (DOT), to shoulder the cost. Well, if it will be rehabilitated it should be done fast because it will be used as the venue for a large-scale gathering in the next two years.

When it was hastily constructed for the Asean Summit in 2007, the work cost the Province some P800 million. For its rehabilitation, it needs another P100 million.

They are just wasting the taxpayers' money. So where is the Ombudsman which is investigating the alleged anomalies in the construction of the CICC?


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 04, 2014.


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