Bacolod City eyes P1.7-B loan from DBP

The Bacolod City Council has granted Mayor Evelio Leonardia the authority  to sign a P1.7-billion loan agreement with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to fund the city’s flagship projects.

Councilor Caesar Distrio, chairman of committee on finance and appropriations, said after the session on Nov. 26, they passed the borrowing ordinance as well as approved the hold deposit agreement and loan term agreement.

Initially, the city government considered availing of the loan from the Municipal Development Fund Office of the Department of Finance, and City Council then granted the mayor the authority to apply, but the initial process did not push through.

The loan will be utilized for the PHP800-million construction of Bacolod MassKara Coliseum with outdoor arena, PHP350-million development of Progreso Village Relocation Site, PHP350-million Bacolod City College Site Development and Facilities, and PHP200-million construction of roads and bridges.

Distrito said that before the City Council approved the loan requirements during the Monday afternoon session, his committee conducted a public hearing earlier in the day, where nobody opposed the proposal to obtain the loan.

During the division of the house, 11 councilors voted in favor of the loan while only one, Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr., opposed. Councilors Ricardo Tan and Claudio Jesus Puentevella were absent.

Distrito said the City Council is expected to ratify the contract next week after which they will pass an appropriation ordinance.
Earlier, Leonardia said the coliseum will meet the need for Bacolod to have a bigger facility to host major events.

“It should be a kind of structure befitting the stature of Bacolod as a highly-urbanized city and as one of the fastest-growing local economies. We are growing by leaps and bounds, a coliseum will just be a facility that a city like Bacolod should have,” he said.

For the relocation site, the mayor said he wants to see it become a community, where people will have the amenities such as schools, hospitals, good roads, and power supply while for the Bacolod City College, Leonardia said the funding will cater to the facilities that the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will require.

The concept of development is to include the one-hectare lot in the adjacent City Engineer’s Office compound as part of the college campus, he added.

Leonardia said that under the construction of roads and bridges, one of those being proposed is the widening of the Gonzaga Bridge into four lanes.PNA