Leonardia: Everybody should be thankful
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia defended the city government’s plan to borrow a P1.7 billion loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
In a radio report, Leonardia said “everyone should be thankful” DBP is providing an opportunity for the city to provide services for residents.
Among the items the loan intends to fund include construction of the planned Bacolod MassKara Coliseum, developments for the Progreso Village relocation site and Bacolod City College, and construction and rehabilitation on city roads and bridges.
The mayor said borrowing a loan is “acceptable to him.”
He added, the Bacolod City Government Center would not have been possible without borrowing a loan.
Earlier, former Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella slammed the loan, calling out Leonardia for previously borrowing several loans during past administrations, saying, such behavior was leaving a “legacy of debt” for the next generation.
The former mayor also went after the proposed coliseum, which is earmarked at P800 million, stating 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.
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 its budget carefully./DGB, WDJ