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Saturday, April 13, 2024

10 Bacolod Councilors on the P1.7-B loan

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As we dont want this to happen as the saying goes, “That a lie repeated a thousand times becomes truth”, the undersigned 10 councilors, issued a JOINT STATEMENT to refute the allegations made by the opposition:

STATEMENT OF COUNCILORS CAESAR DISTRITO, CINDY ROJAS, RENECITO NOVERO, EM ANG, ANA MARIE PALERMO, ELMER SY, DINDO RAMOS, AYESHA VILLAFLOR AND LADY GLES GONZALES IN RESPONSE TO THE PRESS CONFERENCE OF COUNCILORS, JUN GAMBOA AND KALAW PUENTEVELLA

In the approval of the loan, all the procedures had been followed and complied with in accordance with the law.

The required number of votes to obtain indebtedness or loan under the New Local Govt Code is only a MAJORITY VOTE OF ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD, that is 8 out of the 14 members, thus,their claim that it should be unanimous is wrong.

Likewise, the law does not require a public hearing in the request of the mayor to grant him authority to sign the agreement, but out of prudence and fairness, we deferred it for a week, scheduled a public hearing and had invited department heads, barangay officials and DBP officials just to ensure that all the processes and requirements were strictly complied with.

In addition, the Local Housing Board, the BCC Board, the City Development Council and the technical experts of the City Engineers Office had painstakingly studied the feasibility of those projects and their necessity since 2017. In fact, as early as 2018, the CDC had already approved these projects that were also subsequently ratified by the Sangguniang Panlungsod which the minority even affirmed in favor and did not make any objections or comments.

To make it clear, there is no law which provides that the public hearing and the approval of the committee report should be done in separate days. Essentially, the Internal Rules of the Sangguniang Panlungsod is silent on that.

Finally, all of us members of the Sanggunian had debated since mid-2018 to grant the mayor the authority to negotiate with the DOF and any other government financing or banking institutions, and all those projects had already been identified at that time that the matter was lodged before us. The loan was also subjected to lengthy debates, and we had already approved more than 7 resolutions relative to the 4 flagship programs of the Leonardia Administration. In short, it was not made in haste, this was thoroughly discussed and debated upon, and all the requirements required by law had been complied with.(NDB)*

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