Concerned residents raise issues regarding the implementation of the water system project funded from a Php220M bankloan acquired for the purpose by the Municipality of Can-avid, Eastern Samar in July 2020.

Lodged with the Office of the Sangguniang Bayan of Can-avid town in Eastern Samar is a letter demanding an explanation from the project’s contractor and the local government about the status of the project which completion has long been overdue. Dated and received by the legislative office in February 22, 2024, the letter is written by private citizens who introduced themselves as taxpayers. The letter likewise appeals for investigation of accomplishments and the conduct of an independent audit of expenditures and financial stability of the project.

The loan was acquired from the Land Bank of Philippines over 3 years ago. It was during the term of Mayor Gil Norman Germino whose representation for LGU-Can-avid was authorized by the Sanggunian then presided by (his sister-in-law) now incumbent Mayor Vilma Germino.

The amount of loan was intended to upgrade the municipality’s water system from Level II to Level III that will benefit 2,360 domestic households from 16 barangays, 127 institutional establishments and 190 commercial entities with a design of future servicing for 4 additional barangays along the national highways.

Reliable source tell that for over a year now the amount of Php1.9M is deducted from the LGUs NTA every month. The amount represents monthly dues to the bank in terms of interests and principal while progress on the project does not go father than acquisition and stockpiling of pipes.

Issues about the project implementation started stemming up from the clamor of the residents for an operational and functional water system after 3 years of the project’s implementation as materials left stockpiled openly exposed to sun and rain compromises its quality.

“These pipes could have been serviceable if already installed and in place to make water running and flowing to respective household taps,” said a resident in one barangay.

One LGU government department employee (whose name is withheld for confidentiality) said in an interview: “water should now be flowing to each household for the water district to generate revenues for the amortization instead of chopping funds off the LGU’s revenue allotments from the national government which amount could have been used for other development projects and programs because we believe that LGU funds used to pay the bank for this loan jeopardizes the effective implementation of other programs and projects.”

The noise has always been there long before the letter was addressed to the Sanggunian. Attempts at getting the side of LGU offices (thru department heads/staff) involved in development planning, project implementation, disbursement of funds and the water district proved futile. The Municipal Mayor did not make herself available - continuously refusing calls until the number incessantly used to call her was blocked.(CJ/JMM)

-, March 20, 2024

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