Dumalag Mayor Amado Eriberto “Odoy” Castro strongly denied the allegation of Tapaz Mayor Roberto Palomar that the latter’s budget intended for the farm-to-market road (FMR) project in his town was taken by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DWPH) 2nd Engineering District and transferred it to Dumalag for the construction of its municipal hall building and public market.
“We have budget coming from the Senate funds thru the facilitation of Cong. Fredenil Castro”, the mayor told IMT News.
According to Castro, if Palomar got the amount for his town’s FMRs, it could not be transferred from Tapaz to Dumalag.
Mayor Castro, who happened to be the nephew of the congressman, also said that the budget for such projects in Dumalag is legal and included based on the General Appropriation Act (GAA) for fiscal year 2020.
“Kon may ara guid man sia nga P1.2 billion worth of projects nga guintao ka President, dapat may legal nga papeles sia” Castro said.
Earlier, the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Tapaz declared engineer Dene Baldonado, head of the DPWH 2nd Engineering District, as persona non grata for allegedly transferring the budget.
Palomar claimed that Baldonado diverted the fund of some P700 millions from Tapaz to Dumalag’s proposed municipal hall building and public market projects amounting to P250 millions and P200 million, respectively. Portions of the budget were also allocated for police stations in Ivisan and Jamindan towns.
“The mandate of DPWH is to construct national roads, bridges, flood control and to provide FMRs and the very beginning, Baldonado wala guid may ginawa na project sa Tapaz’ Palomar said during the press conference held at the mayor’s office recently.
Palomar said that he asked some P1.2 Billion worth of development projects for Tapaz directly from Pres. Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang in order to address insurgency and poverty problems in Tapaz, however the projects were deleted by the DPWH.
According to the mayor, the proposed municipal hall building and public market in Dumalag were not approved by Provincial Development Council (PDC) and Regional Development Council (PDC).
IMT NEWS tried to get Baldonado’s comment but he was not available.
Meanwhile, an engineer in the same office, who requested not to be identified, told IMT News that it was not Baldonado who transferred the funds from Tapaz to Dumalag. “It was the regional office of DPWH.”
“It’s beyond his (Baldoando’s) level of authority to remove or delete such funds,” he said.
He explained that an Engineering District head has no authority to handle projects worth more than P100 thousand.IMT