Source: Manila Standard
P1.2 billion worth of construction projects in Angeles City will continue as planned “to better serve the needs of the people,” Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan said Sunday.
A notice to proceed with the winning bidders will be issued anytime to start the projects – a five-storey new city hall, a sports complex, an elevated steel parking building, and the purchase of equipment and other office supplies, Pamintuan said.
The mayor said the projects were approved by the authorities, including the Development Bank of the Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Interior and Local Government, and by the city council through a resolution.
“There is no need to transfer the funds to where they are not appropriated,” Pamintuan stressed.
During a media forum here, Pamintuan, who is also the president of the City Mayors’ League of the Philippines, said there is no more stumbling block to proceed with the implementation of the projects as soon as possible.
The new five-storey city building will cost P580 million, the sports complex is worth P360 million, the steel parking building is P60 million and the rest of the P1.2 billion will be spent on office equipment.
Earlier, Alexander Cauguiran, the former president of Clark International Airport Authority who is running for mayor in the 2019 elections, urged Pamintuan and the city council to instead use the P1.2 billion to improve the city college and hospital.
But according to Pamintuan, the Ospital Ng Angeles and the City College of Angeles are all well-equipped, serving the needs of both patients and students in the city.
“In a public hospital, you cannot prevent congestion,” he said. “In my 15 years of government service, I see to it that the need of this sectors is always my top priority with utmost sincerity and dedication.”
During the forum, Pamintuan, who is running as the first nominee of party-list group Abe Kapampangan, stressed that his decision to support incumbent Vice Mayor Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno over his friend Cauguiran “is a personal choice that nobody can question or dictate to him.”
The sincerity of Nepomuceno in public service was proven, Pamintuan said, when the city council approved a resolution creating an additional public cemetery even it contradicted the business interest of the Nepomuceno family, who owned a private memorial park nearby.
Pamintuan admitted Cauguiran “is a friend of long, good standing and it will always remain as it is.”
Aside from Nepomuceno, Cauguiran and incumbent Councilor Carmelo Lazatin Jr. are running for mayor.
Pamintuan said his top legislative agenda if he makes it to Congress through the party-list system is the redistricting of the entire Pampanga from the present four districts “to five or even six if necessary.”
At present, Angeles City, a 1st class highly urbanized area, Mabalacat City and Magalang town comprise the 1st legislative district of the province represented by Carmelo Lazatin II, who is running for reelection against basketball coach Joseller “Yeng” M. Guiao in the May elections.
“There is now pending bill in the Congress separating Angeles City from Mabalacat City and Magalang, but it is not moving, and it was pigeonholed,” he added.
“The way the speed of development, information, and technology is going, we also have to act fast to position the province in such a way it will get its fair share of government financial allocation for growth and development,” the outgoing mayor said.
The 2nd district, composed of the coastal towns of Lubao, Sasmuan, Guagua, Porac, and Floridablanca, is represented by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who is not seeking another term. She will be replaced by her son, former congressman Mikey Arroyo.
The independent-minded 3rd district consists of the city of San Fernando, Bacolor, Mexico, Arayat, and Sta. Ana. Rep. Aurelio D. Gonzales Jr. is also running for re-election.
The 4th district, composed of the coastal towns of Sto. Tomas, Apalit, Masantol, Macabebe, San Luis, San Simon, Candaba and Minalin, has Juan Pablo P. Bondoc as its representative. He is also running for his last term in Congress.