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Issue of August 20, 2017
     
NEWS
Benguet
Kalinga
Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 

2017
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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Multi-million PAMANA fund set for Sadanga road returned
by Alfred Macalling

SADANGA, Mountain Province – The Office of the Provincial Treasurer returned more than P9 million unused development fund to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process.

The fund, amounting to P9,100,151.63, was intended for the construction of Sacasacan-Belwang farm-to-market road in Sadanga but the project still has to be completed. The Provincial Treasurer returned the money to Oppap on Aug. 10.

The fund is part of the P25.40M that was downloaded to the municipal government through a sub-memorandum of agreement between past municipal and provincial officials from the P34.50M Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan fund earmarked for the municipality.

The return of unused fund is in compliance with a decision of the Supreme Court that ruled that the Disbursement Acceleration Program is unconstitutional.

Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan Jr. requested the Opapp for additional time for the completion of ongoing projects in Sadanga but the Opapp denied the request due to the deadline imposed on the liquidation of Pamana projects.

“We regret to inform you that we will not be able to grant your request and may we respectfully request for the immediate refund of all unused funds and savings to the national treasury through our office for recording,” Opapp Usec. for Support Services and Pamana National Program Manager Ronald I. Flores stated in his letter to the governor.

Lacwasan said he is puzzled why Sadanga was not able to complete the project considering the time allotted and the nature of the work, which is merely opening of a road.

Despite the return of fund for the construction of Sacasacan-Belwang Road, Lacwasan thanked the Opapp for its continued support by extending development projects to conflict and vulnerable areas like Mountain Province.

He is optimistic that Oppap will consider the request for realignment of the fund. 

Anthony Pandosen, one of the governor’s executive assistants, said the immediate liquidation of the unused fund is necessary so that the release of another P50M to the provincial government will not be compromised. The amount is expected to be downloaded to the provincial government before the end of the month.

The Department of Agrarian Reform through its Agrarian Infrastructure Support Project (ARISP II) allotted P10M for the concreting of the Ampawilen-Opucan FMR in the same town but road right-of-way problems are delaying the project’s implementation.

Another project that has become controversial is the construction of a tramline to connect Barangay Betwagan to the road. The contactor reportedly got the mobilization fund but the works stopped due to the adverse claims of residents. The project, under the Department of Agriculture, is now in limbo.

 
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