Mayor declares district engineer persona non grata

Tapaz Mayor Roberto Nonong Palomar and Capiz 2nd District Rep. Fredenil Castro in a recent meeting. (Photo from Tapaz LGU)

By Felipe V. Celino

ROXAS CITY, Capiz— Mayor Roberto “Nonong” Palomar of Tapaz, Capiz declared Engr. Dene Baldonado, District Engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 2nd Engineering District Office here, persona non grata or unwelcome for realigning the budget of projects intended for the town to another municipality.

In a press conference Friday, Palomar said he was surprised to learn that the P467-million budget given by President Rodrigo Duterte did not reach the town. He said the amount was intended for the construction of the municipal building and the public market.

Wala sang maayo nga proyekto nga nahatag si Baldonado sa amon banwa,” the mayor said.

Palomar recalled that in 2018, he asked Duterte for projects in Tapaz which the President agreed, more particularly the construction of farm-to-market roads in 22 upland villages.

But he was surprised that the P1.2-billion budget for the projects did not materialize despite Executive Order 70 wherein the top-priority projects of the national government in Tapaz are intended for the End Local Communist and Conflict (ELCAC) program.

Ang pagpatukod sang farm-to-market road kuntani ang makabulig agud makatibawas sa kapigaduhon ang mga pumuluyo sang banwa kag matapna ang konplikto sa tunga sang militar kag rebelde nga grupo sa ila lugar,” the mayor said.

But when he traced the budget, he found out that it was realigned to Dumalag, the place where the 2nd Engineering District is located and the home town of Capiz Second District Rep. Fredenil Castro.

The mayor added that the construction of the municipal hall and public market are not under the function of the DPWH as their primary mandate is to construct national roads, bridges and flood control projects.

Sa kadugayon ni Baldonado bilang district engineer sa 2nd district, wala siya sang maayo nga nahatag sa Tapaz bangud kun indi sang atrasado ang proyekto, wala ini maturn-over sa lokal nga gobyerno sang banwa,” Palomar added.