The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has given the green light to the Provincial Government of Bohol to start the previously deferred procurement of service vehicles for its 13 Provincial Board (PB) members and Vice Governor Rene Relampagos.
According to Relampagos, the DILG approved their planned purchase of 14 pickup trucks worth P24 million which was allocated through the province’s 2021 annual budget.
“Apil sa proseso ni, kay dili man ta pwede mo dretso-dretso og pamalit not unless nga aprobado pud kini sa DILG,” Relampagos told the media following the legislative body’s regular session on Tuesday.
A copy of the DILG’s Department Authority which was addressed to Governor Art Yap and signed by Undersecretary for Local Government Marlo Iringan was relayed to the PB on the same day.
The procurement was previously approved by the PB after service vehicles of “around six” members of the legislative body were noted to be in need of major repairs prompting the legislators to use their personal vehicles for official trips.
The current government-owned vehicles used by the PB members, which Relampagos estimated to be around a decade old, already have “questionable road worthiness” which may compromise their passengers’ safety.
“Naa puy mga sakyanan na gipanggamit pa, pero naa puy feedback na every now and then mo-bog down ang ilang sakyanan,” Relampagos said.
“There is a difference between wanting and needing something, but in this case, this is a need,” he added.
Relampagos noted that the provincial government will be purchasing 4×4 pickup trucks for “practicality” considering the rough terrain in some areas of the province, particularly with the poor road conditions heading to far-flung barangays.
The purchase of the vehicles was supposed to be carried out last year but was postponed due to the pandemic.
The SP said that the budget was instead realigned to augment the province’s war chest in battling COVID-19. (with a report from R. Tutas)