By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Former Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella yesterday slammed plans by the current city government to borrow a P1.7 billion loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines.
During a press conference, he called out incumbent Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia for previously borrowing several loans during past administrations, saying, such behavior was leaving a “legacy of debt” for the next generation.
“Have you have no shame?” he asked.
The former mayor also went after the proposed construction of the Bacolod MassKara Coliseum, which is earmarked at P800 million.
He said similar plans were made in the past with investors willing to construct the project for free.
Puentevella added, P800 million would be better used to purchase medicine for low-income families and to build or improve hospitals.
Last month, Bacolod City Councilor Ricardo Tan said he supported borrowing the loan but disagreed on how the city government planned to utilize the funding. He believes the funding should be spent on projects like a hospital.
The city official expressed skepticism over the coliseum, saying, most coliseum projects across the province turn out to be a “white elephant,” a reference to something that is expensive and useless; adding, the city cannot even maintain the BAYS Center.
The Bacolod City Sangguniang Panlungsod earlier approved three requirements regarding the P1.7 billion loan with City Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr., who voted against the measure, saying the approval was “railroaded.”
Meanwhile, former City Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, said the loan was unnecessary and questioned its timing, saying, such a venture should be pursued after the May 2019 midterm elections.
According to Batapa-Sigue, the city only needs to manage the budget carefully./DGB, WDJ