The long list of projects and programs facilitated for the benefit of the people of Bohol could be enough to place Third District Rep. Arthur Yap at an advantage.
As shown by the value of the projects implemented in the third district in his incumbency as congressman, and even in other parts of Bohol in his past stint as secretary of agriculture, all the public funds allocated have been accounted for.
The list of accomplishments could have fallen short vis-Ã -vis the funds allocated had the critics were right in alleging Yap had been involved in corruption.
In fact, the Sandiganbayan issued a certification, the latest—dated October 13, 2015, that Yap has never been dragged into any case.
Yap said this clears him from allegations circulated by some individuals around the third district that he had been charged along with other officials in the PDAF scam.
This also serves to clear from allegations that he had been involved in rice smuggling.
Yap had earlier pointed out that it is impossible for him to be tagged as the â€œtop rice smuggler of the archipelagoâ€, because he had never been into the rice trading business.
Moreover, his opponent, Che Delos Reyes, failed to give details nor any evidence to support her statement during a press conference after she filed her certificate of candidacy on Thursday that Yap is the â€œtop rice smuggler in the archipelagoâ€.
On the other hand, it is on official record and nationwide knowledge that Yap was not the secretary of agriculture referred to in the fertilizer scam.
As to allegations that he failed to keep promises to mayors, Yap wanted specific details, because all municipalities and all barangays have been allocated projects in his two terms as representative of the third district.
On the road upgrading of the Tagbilaran-Corella-Sikatuna-Loboc road, Yap clarified that he was even the one lobbying for the allocation for the project.
He pushed for it in 2014 to be included in the 2015 budget, but the DPWH turned it down, because the road was not yet in state of deterioration that merits upgrading.
Yap lobbied again this year, for the project to be included in the 2016 budget.
In a letter dated February 27, 2015, DPWH District Engr. Aramis Torrefranca of the 3rdÂ Engineering Office in Bohol that the P50-million project is now included in the proposed DPWH Priority Programs for 2016, which the Provincial Development Council had also endorsed.
Torrefranca said that the DPWH Central Office excluded the project in the proposed infrastructure program because â€œthe road pavement must be in bad condition before it will be upgraded from asphalt to concreteâ€ and that â€œthe prioritization of road improvement is from gravel to concrete as the main agenda of the national government is paving of all national roads by 2016â€.
â€œHowever, based on your strong recommendation and due to the damaged pavement caused by Typhoon Seniang, we have included it again in the proposed DPWH Priority Programs, Projects and Activities for FY [fiscal year] 2016, which the Bohol Provincial Development Council (PDC) has also endorsed,â€ Torrefranca stated in his letter to Yap.
It was then submitted by DPWH-3rdÂ Engineering District to DPWH regional office for inclusion in their 2016 Infrastructure program.
Yap said his office in Tagbilaran City has a record of projects implemented in the third district for any concerned individual who want to inquire.
The Balay Bol-anon core shelter project for earthquake survivors whose houses were damaged during the 2013 earthquake came from private individuals tapped by Yap immediately after the tragedy.
With the length of service in government, Yap said he had established connections with those who can help implement projects that will benefit the people.
Under his HEART program, which stands for Health, Education, Agriculture, Rural development and Toursim, Yap said he continued providing financial assistance for the hospital bills of indigents, scholarships—now through the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, post-harvest facilities for farmers, farm-to-market roads, and support on the promotion of tourist spots even after the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) had been scrapped.