The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Negros Occidental yesterday approved the request of Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. to purchase dredging equipment, including a combined cutter suction and backhoe dredge, and a crawler excavator, at the cost of P34 million.
In his letter to the SP, Marañon said the equipment are needed for the declogging and cleaning of river banks, creeks, open line canals and other waterways of flood-prone areas in Negros Occidental.
The SP also gave Marañon authority to open a Letter of Credit with the Land Bank of the Philippines for P34 million.
Board Member Salvador Escalante, chairperson of the SP committee on Finance and Appropriations, said the Letter of Credit is a requirement for the direct purchase of the heavy equipment, and will to be used as basis for Hyundai to ship it to Negros Occidental.
To the query of Board Member Rolando Ponsica, Board Member Pedro Zayco, chairperson of the SP committee on Natural Disaster and Calamities, clarified that the P34 million is not a loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines.
Escalante said P60 million had been earmarked for the purchase of heavy equipment, to be taken from the P100 million savings of the 5 Percent Calamity Fund for years 2011 and 2012.
He said the heavy equipment is earmarked for clearing of waterways in southern Negros, and that the dredging equipment of the provincial government is presently deployed in EB Magalona.* GPB