Monday, 02 September 2013 15:55
The two billion in this case is the much maligned, oft discussed and very controversial billion peso deposit of the city government kept hidden in government turned private banks.
Once again, the money became the focus of attention during the Executive-Legislative agenda in Tagaytay last week where executive and legislative officials left for to attend a routine meeting and came back the bearers of a billion peso secret.
Within minutes of concluding the supposedly confidential meeting, reports filtered out about the secrets of ELA: the financial situation of the city is not as rosy as reported. Billions of pesos not available to finance the projects of the present administration. Councilors shocked and disbelieving at the revelation.
Amidst the gentlemen’s agreement during the meeting not to discuss the issue outside the confines of the city government, several media outfits were instantly skirting the issue due to the absence of legitimate sources. On a deeper level, the press was scrambling for sources to put an air of legitimacy to the story they plan to publish.
Finally, the secret was out: all the billions in the bank were appropriated and tied up for projects under the Lobregat administration, leaving very little for the next administration to spend.
Before the crying session starts, please allow us to say that the situation is not as bleak as it seems. This is not a case of lost billions.
The P2-billion is still there (whew!) but is not available for immediate use because it is all tied up in appropriations for projects formulated under the Lobregat administration. To be used for purposes other than that for which intended would be a criminal act under the law.
Despite its presence in the bank however, this is not to say that all is well. The Climaco administration faces a gargantuan task of picking out from the list projects which can still be implemented, realign funds for projects which do not meet the criteria and do all those governmental stuff to place funds in the bank for her disposal.
This is on top of analyzing all those cost estimates for the unimplemented projects, making more realistic ones to ensure the implementation and completion of infrastructure planned under her own administration.
Instead of focusing on all those peace and order, business and economic programs, effort and time of government personnel are spent on reviewing, analyzing, computing and even typing. (whew!) If you ask me, all this work sucks the energy out of someone who is raring to implement her own developmental agenda.
And what about all those projects figuratively sleeping in the form of P2-billion in bank deposits? I get more tired thinking what other benefits in terms of projects and much needed social programs this can generate for our residents.
If at all, this is a case of deprivation, comparable to the very meaningful maxim, Justice delayed is justice denied. Projects delayed deny the citizenry of all those benefits to improve their lives and economic condition.
The projects supposed to benefit the city today will not have the same effect when implemented years after. Projects for a city in the brink of development need all the help they can get to spur them to greater heights. To delay in this monumental task is to miss the timely push that would propel them to progress at that critical instance.
As expected when it comes to money, speculations relentlessly surface about what happens when you have billions of pesos lying dormant, particularly on the gains derived by its keepers. I choose however not to deal with its implications.
As it is, the effects of such an error is a monumental task to repair and a faulty foundation for which to build an administration on.
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