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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, November 20, 2013
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Mayor denies walk-out claims
BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO

Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella denied insinuations that he walked out during the inaugural opening of the 10.12-kilometer Bacolod Silay Airport Access Road last week.

He said the insinuations that he walked out from the BSAAR opening made him “more popular”.

Puentevella said he was present during the cutting of the ceremonial ribbon together with other elected officials of the 3rd Congressional District.

Neg. Occ., 3rd District Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez and Bacolod Rep. Evelio Leonardia cut the ribbon.

Puentevella cut a separate ribbon with Talisay Mayor Eric Saratan and Silay Mayor Jose Montelibano.

He claimed that it took him eight long years working very hard for the realization of the access road that connects Bacolod, Talisay and Silay cities directly to the domestic airport.

At the time, the budget they set for the road was about P680 million. The actual construction spearheaded by Benitez only cost P415 million, raising questions on where the excess amount would have gone.

Puentevella said he hopes to see the realization of “his sugar road.” The access road to the airport is just the first part of the project and the second part is the diversion road for sugarcane trucks, he added.

He said the 20-kilometer sugar road, which he started working on for more than 10 years, is about to be finished.

LEAVE BENEFITS QUESTIONED

Meanwhile, Bacolod Councilor Alex Paglumutan is seeking clarification from the Office of the City Mayor about the allocation of P9,230,000 for terminal leave benefits that is included in the P53.6 million supplemental budget request submitted by the Mayor to the Sanggunian Panlungsod for affirmation.

Paglumutan recalled that he and Councilor Caesar Distrito had provided a colatilla in the previous supplemental budget that if ever another supplemental budget request will be made by Puentevella, a portion of it should be allocated to the terminal leave benefits of terminated casual employees of the previous administration.

He said he has no questions on the current request for terminal benefits for retiring regular employees this year, but wants to be clarified, as hundreds of terminated casual employees are still waiting for the release of their benefits.

Paglumutan said that when they approved the second supplemental budget request of P40 million, they provided another colatilla seeking a budget allocation for the terminal leave benefit of the terminated casuals.

“I hope that the executive will take a second look and provide funds for the terminal leave benefits of casual employees who are no longer in government service,” Paglumutan said.*CGS

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