NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Vice Gov. Rene Relampagos gave the right context to correct what some partisan quarters might have misinterpreted, if not intentionally distorted, surrounding the bank financing for the province’s aggressive water program.
He said included in the 2021 general appropriations of the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh) is a P1 billion water supply development program for the different localities.
This is to help solve the the problem of lack of or no clean and safe water in still many areas in the province.
The P1 billion for the province-wide water agenda will be sourced out which is why a bank financing is to be accessed.
Relampagos said the PGBh will tap the P1 billion from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) as the source of funds for the widespread program.
To facilitate the releases of funds for the different water projects, the LBP informed the SP to use the omnibus term loan facility/credit line already approved by the board of directors of the bank.
The bank offered to the province the approved credit line because of the high PGBh financial credibility.
The SP needed to manifest the position of the PGBh to avail of the credit facility and, thus, its resolution authorizing the governor to negotiate with the financing institution.
The credit line will be used so that the financing need will not undergo bank board approval again, Relampagos said.
The vice governor said nothing has changed in the P1 billion requirement for the water program.
This is even if the bank’s credit line for the province is above P1 billion strictly because of the financing institution’s trust in the capacity and good record of the province.
Also, this does not mean that since the bank rates higher the PGBh as a creditor for its credibility, the later will just exhaust the credit line limit even if the LGU projects already get the amounts they require.
Because of the bank’s high trust in the PGBh, the LGUs can avail of the credit line at a lower rate of only four percent (4%) per annum instead of six percent (6%), a bank official said in a radio interview.
Relampagos explained the context against wrong or inaccurate information being peddled that the province will borrow up to P2 billion because the bank is willing based on the allowable credit line.
Some political quarters even misled the people by claiming that the province is availing of a bank financing as much as P3 billion, which is entirely a lie, too.
The governor also said that, since last year, meetings and presentations to the provincial board were in the presence of Board Members Victor Dionisio Balite and Lucille Lagunay, who both opposed the water program on account of its bank fund sourcing.
The Bohol Environmental and Management Office and technical people who prepared the plans for the projects in coordination with the LGUs also presented to the provincial board.
The SP members were given enough, appropriate times to raise questions or be clarified about the essential water program, Relampagos said.