Dagupan can pay easily P500-M bank loan, say

THE Dagupan City government has the capacity to pay a loan up to P500 million should it decide to apply for it to build the new city hall.

This was confirmed by City Treasurer Romelita Alcantara during the public hearing last Thursday, June 29 on the draft resolution seeking the transfer of the city hall from A.B. Fernandez Avenue to a donated land in Barangay Pantal.

The proposed ordinance also seeks to reclassify the area from agricultural to non-agricultural for institutional purposes.

The City Treasurer was asked by Councilor Jose Netu Tamayo, author of the measure and chair of the council’s committee on laws, ordinances and judiciary and on land utilization, to respond to the charge of an opposition councilor that the city is not in a position to obtain loan.

In answering, Alcantara however limited her discussion on the capacity of Dagupan to pay its proposed loan in building a new city hall, clearly avoiding to be enmeshed in a spirited debate on where the new city hall will be located.

She said the city is proposing a budget of P948 million and assuming the city borrows P500 million that’s payable in 15 years, the yearly amortization will only be P78 million including interest due.

The city government, she said, can afford to allocate P78 million from its P948 million annual budget.

She cited the city’s experience when the past city government paid a yearly amortization of P25 million to pay its P223 million over a 15-year period is for the construction of the Malimgas Public Market despite the poor budget performance of the Lim administration.

Earlier, City Administrator Farah Decano said that under Mayor Belen Fernandez, the city government made a dramatic improvement in the fiscal management of the city from an almost bankrupt financial position economy that her administration inherited.

Through the years, she said the Lim administration not only suffered a budget deficit but also failed to pay its electric bills and emergency workers.

In just six months since her Mayor Fernandez’s assumption of the mayoral post, Decano said the city government was not only able to pay the city’s unpaid bills, and salaries due emergency workers but was able to grant city hall officials and employees their 13th bonus. (Leonardo Micua)