STILL UNCOMPLETED PROJECTS IN PANGASINAN QUESTIONED

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan  — The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) revealed that there are several more local projects funded by the national government especially in the fifth district of Pangasinan which were began either in 2005 and 2006 but remained uncompleted up to this day.

This was gathered by the SP when they grilled Emmanuel Diaz, chief of the third Pangasinan engineering district in their question hour last Monday.

The board members learned that the uncompleted projects in the fifth district were initiated by former Congressman Mark Cojuangco at the request of his constituents in his district. Cojuangco was replaced in 2010 by his wife Rep. Cojuangco.

They cited a gymnasium in Barangay Villanueva in Bautista town which was only a skeleton of some posts and beams for which, Diaz said the government spent P13.5 million and needs another P13.7 million to have it completed.

The steel trusses for the proposed gymnasium were already in the area which have not been installed and are now rusting.

 There is also a common cemetery for Barangays Villanueva, Artacho, Poponto, and Primicias, also in Bautista and also a school building which was started in the same year that construction of the gymnasium was began but also remained uncompleted.

 Diaz explained that these local projects funded by the national government are being built piece by piece once the funds are available.

The Villanueva gym, he said, was started in 2006 with P2 million initial allocation from the congressional PDAF. It was augmented with another P3.5 million sourced out from the senate’s PDAF and another P5 million in 2008 from the lower house PDAF.

         Sixth District Board Member Alfonso Bince Jr. wondered why the Villanueva gymnasium as well as the cemetery and school building were not yet completed although the PDAF was stopped only in 2010 when the Supreme Court declared it as unsconstitutional.

Another project is the Bahay Intsik gymnasium in Sison town which was started in 2005 or 2006 but which was not yet completed despite the fact that P28 million was already spent.

Mayor Mina Joy Pangasinan said however that with its roofing already provided, the Bahay Intsik gymnasium is now being used for social functions as well as community activities.

Another mayor, Artemio Chan of Pozorubio, was invited by the SP, but failed to attend.

SP Member Bince, who initiated the probe in aid of legislation, said people in areas where the uncompleted projects are located are asking why these projects are still uncompleted despite being started almost 10 years ago. PNA