Completion of projects funded by P4-B loan eyed before Benitez’s term ends

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Bacolod City councilor Thaddy Sayson said that with the approval of the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) of the P4.4 billion loan agreement of the city government with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), bidding of the projects to be funded by the loan can now start.

“Puede na kami ka pa bidding,” Sayson, chair of the Sanggunian Palungsod committee on Finance told Daily Guardian Sunday.

Sayson said the priority projects include the legislative building, city health complex, and the sanitary landfill, among others.

He added that the projects can be started before the end of the third quarter of 2023.

Sayson said they aim to finish the projects before the first term of Mayor Benitez ends in July 2025.

Earlier, Benitez said that the P4.4 billion loan agreement of the City Government of Bacolod with DBP was already approved by the BSP’s Monetary Board on July 11.

It will be endorsed to the City Council for the approval of the development projects of the city, the mayor said.

He further said that the city can start the bidding process for the implementation of the priority projects such as land banking, construction of the legislative building, the renovation of the Old City Hall, the health centers or mini-hospitals as well as the City Health Office, and others.

The mayor also pointed out that the Department of Finance (DOF) earlier approved the P5.5 billion proposed loan for Bacolod, but because of the city’s reduction in its national tax allotment (NTA) share in 2023, the loan was lowered to P4.441 billion.

“Because our loan capacity decreased, it will also affect the city’s other projects, like the underground cabling and the project proposals for public-private partnership (PPP),” Benitez explained.