Bukidnon town inks P150 million LBP loan deal

MALAYBALAY CITY (December 20) The Municipal Government of Kitaotao signed a P150 million loan agreement with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to build structures to help boost local development and tourism, officials said.

The 15-year loan agreement with 5 percent interest will be used to finance various projects including a new local public market and terminal complex and other projects, said Engr. Winnie Angit, the municipal planning and development coordinator.

Kitaotao mayor Lorenzo Gawilan Jr, Vice Mayor Edwin Abucayan and LBP-Asst. Vice President Jose Enedicto G. Faune signed the loan agreement morning on December 18 at the town’s Municipal Function Hall.

Gawilan told reporters during a press conference after the signing rites that it is part of the effort of the local government to boost local tourism by investing in innovations especially with the prospect of the domestic airport in nearby Don Carlos town.

He revealed that among the projects that will be financed through the loan includes the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) building for  P30 million, the public market for P40 million, water system for P10 million, bus terminal for P25M and the perimeter fence for P10M. The SB at present is housed at the Municipal Tourism Building.

The remaining amount will be used to build food court, the new fish landing, slaughter house, parking area, and install closed circuit television (CCTV), generator sets among others.

The structures will be built via a design and build scheme with the winning contractor.

Abucayan said the mayor has the full support of the Sangguniang Bayan.

Sangguniang Bayan member Mary Ann G. Angit, chair of the SB trade and commerce committee said Kitaotao has been left out in terms of vital development projects.

“It is about time that the municipality will move for the best, not only as the center of trade and commerce but for the people’s welfare as well,” she added.

MPDC coordinator Angit told Newswatch via telephone on December 20 all the projects will be constructed in the 4.2- hectare property of the local government along the highway in Purok 3 Poblacion. The project site was acquired during the administration of the late Mayor Gumahin in 1995.

He clarified that the agreement approved the allotment of the amount but the local government is yet to comply with documentary requirements including a certification from the Department of Interior and Local Government on net financial borrowing capacity and clearance from the Department of Finance.

Angit could did not specify the monthly amortization of the loan but he cited that for the first year of payment, the municipal government is due to pay around P14 million, to decrease in the following years. He cited that they have a two-year grace period before they start paying the loan’s principal.

This is the fourth loan transaction of the first income class LGU with LBP since 1998. But Angit said so far this is the biggest in amount with previous projects amounting to P14 million only to buy heavy equipment. The town has an internal revenue allotment of P211 million as of 2017, Angit said.

He added that the loan amortization will be taken from the town’s 20 percent local development fund, which he said is what is allowed under Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code. The loan belongs to the Omnibus Term Loan Facility of LBP, which funds projects of the LGU within the annual investment program, implementable within three years.

When asked about public consultation, Angit said it took a year for the proposal to push ahead from the committee hearing to the plenary of the Sangguniang Bayan.

Officials said the schedule of ground breaking rites will be announced soon. (Walter I. Balane/Contributor with reports)