FIRE DRILL. As the nation observes Fire Prevention Month, members of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Tacloban City conducted a fire drill to enhance public safety awareness. The BFP has organized various activities throughout the month to promote fire prevention and ensure the safety of the public. This proactive approach underscores the importance of preparedness and timely response in mitigating fire-related incidents. (BFP VIII TACLOBAN CITY FIRE STATION)

Project deadline missed

TACLOBAN CITY– Some residents of Can-avid town in Eastern Samar have questioned on the status of a P220 million worth of water system project, the source of fund of which was loaned by the municipal government four years ago.

A group of residents, who just identified themselves as taxpayers, wrote a letter to the members of the Sangguniang Bayan on February 22,2024 to raise a query on the status of the said project which aims to make the potable water accessible to each household and office of the town.

It was learned that the municipal government, under its former mayor Gil Norman Germino, entered a loan agreement with the Land Bank of the Philippines on July 29, 2020 in the amount of P220 million.

In explaining the purpose of the loan, he said that the project was intended to ‘provide and deliver a better, more efficient, uninterrupted supply of potable water’ to its residents.
“For two years now, the project remains uncompleted and lying idle with the contractor abandoning it,” Edilberto Grata, Jr., one of the signatories of the petition letter, said in an interview.

The project, according to him, was supposed to be completed by 2022.

Grata lamented that the municipal government did not exert any effort to explain to the locals on the status of the project.

He said that the municipal government, for one, did not put up billboards regarding the project for transparency purposes, adding that the pipes earlier delivered are lying idle.
Meanwhile, Grata said, the municipal government continues to pay the loan at P1.9 million for every month in 15 years.

“The amortization of the loan is NTA(national tax allotment) intercept, which means the Land Bank will automatically deduct its payment both interest and principal amount,” Grata said.

The money, he said, could have been better used for other useful projects of the towns which could have benefited its people.

The Leyte Samar Daily Express contacted a member of the town council for their reactions but was unsuccessful.