MAYOR Belen Fernandez said Dagupan can now heave a sigh of relief after final balance of the P500-million loan that the city secured from the Land Bank of the Philippines in 2004 for the construction of the Malimgas Public Market has been paid.
She told the KBP Forum on Thursday that Dagupan had paid the last and final amortization of the P500-million loan during the first quarter of this year.
“I directed the budget and accounting office to pay the last amortization to finally set us free”, said Fernandez, pointing out that when she came to office in 2013, the remaining loan to be paid was still P188 million.
She explained that the Lim administration paid the amortization that resulted in cuts of budgets for health and livelihood programs since the Malimgas Market was operating at a loss, a patently illegal process.
During the term of then Mayor Alipio Fernandez Jr., the city asked for one year moratorium on its payments because the market was still not earning.
When Lim returned to office in 2010, stallholders were vacating the Malimgas Market because of the high monthly rentals imposed by the city.
Mayor Belen introduced bold measures, succeeded in convincing old stallholders to return to the Malimgas Market that finally made the market operations viable and enabled the city to pay the amortization from the market’s revenues.
The reforms she instituted in market collection made it possible for the city government to make the daily collections more efficient and fully accountable, Fernandez said.
At the KBP forum, the mayor announced that the Malimgas Market’s floor level will be elevated to keep it flood-free during the rainy season. (Leonardo Micua)
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