September 26 - October 09, 2005

Despite availability of funds
LC council returns PNP station construction proposal to MVF
Council says MOA ‘ambiguous’

Despite the availability of funds, the Laoag City Sangguniang Panlungsod has recommended the return of the proposal for the construction of a new police station for the Laoag City Philippine National Police (PNP) to Laoag City Mayor Michael V. Fariñas.

According to Councilor Vicentito M. Lazo, the council’s finance committee chair, the memorandum of agreement signed by the city government and the PNP was “ambiguous.”

Lazo also mentioned in his committee’s report during the September 14 session of the council that the said MOA does not contain provisions that would protect the interest of the city.

Under the said MOA, the city government and the PNP would split the cost of the construction of the new PNP station. The estimated cost was pegged at P10 million, which meant the city government would have to shell out P5 million as its share.

Reacting to this, Fariñas said he hopes Lazo’s recommendation would not mean disapproval of the proposal in the future.

The mayor also clarified that the MOA was prepared by the PNP Regional Office and not by the city government as he added that he is planning to write the concerned office, attaching the recommendations made by the council’s finance committee.

Fariñas explained that in the MOA, the city government would shoulder the first phase of the construction with the total cost of P5 million. The completion of the project would be the second phase wherein the PNP would then shoulder all the expenses needed to complete the structure.

“That whatever part of the construction to be finished by the city government in the amount of P5 million, makaammun ton iti PNP a mangileppas aginggana a ma-kumpletar da amin (the PNP in turn would then be in charge of completing the project),” Fariñas said.

The P5 million share of the city government in the project had been approved by the local finance committee as it found funds from the savings of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and from the Philippine Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) funds.

The groundbreaking ceremonies for the project was undertaken on August 9, with PNP Director General Arturo Lomibao as guest of honor.

Meanwhile, Laoag City PNP chief Reynante Partible refused to comment on the issue as he only said that the construction of a type A police station is needed not for their benefit but for the people. A type A police station is a standard police station with a roof deck.

However he said he appreciates Lazo’s recommendation as long as this would lead to a positive response from the council if their recommendations were considered.

Dominic B. dela Cruz

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