Bukidnon town council seeks probe on “missing” P10.7-M water loan

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/06 April) —   The town council of Malitbog, Bukidnon has passed a resolution seeking a probe on a P10.7 million loan that appeared to have been obtained by the Malitbog Water District from the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) in 2010 for a project that allegedly was not implemented, vice mayor Gary Casiño said.

The project, supposed to source water from Brgy. San Luis to be distributed to residents in the poblacion and other parts of the town, was not implemented. Casiño said

He explained that the water district, created by the municipal government in 2009, is non-operational and there is nothing to show for the P10.7 million loan, the first tranche of a supposedly P50 million loan, that was supposed to have been released on May 7, 2010, three days before the national elections.

He said the town council in a committee hearing Thursday passed a resolution urging Justice Sec. Leila Delima to investigate. They also sought the help of Senator Teofisto Guingona III, who heads the Senate’s Blue Ribbon committee.

Councilor Gerald Emata gave a privilege speech on the matter last week, prompting the hearing, he added.

Only Teodulo Baldo, of the four-member board, appeared in the hearing.

Casino said Baldo denied any knowledge on the transactions of the water district. He added that the water district’s general manager is dead .

Emata’s speech came after the municipal council learned that the Commission on Audit is probing the matter.

Edwin Gaacanios, COA-10 supervising auditor wrote the COA audit team in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon in October 2013, asking for confirmation of a check that appeared to have been released by the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) to the Malitbog Water District. COA-10 sought fr the turnover of records of the water district “for us to continue the conduct of appropriate audit.”

A month earlier, Ma. Nancy Uy, OIC supervising auditor of COA-LWUA, asked COA-10 for confirmation on Check no. 402783 amounting to P10,700.545, issued by LWUA to the Malitbog Water District on May 7, 2010.

Casiño, who supplied the documents to the media, said they are requesting COA-10 to provide the municipal council with details such as who received the check on behalf of the water district. He added that they are allocating P30, 000 to check with LWUA about the details of the loan, too.

He noted that the date of check’s was three days before the May 10, 2010  Presidential election.

He told radio station DXDB-AM that they are checking on the project because it was supposed to provide water to residents.

The Rural Waterworks Sanitation Association, a community project,  is operating a water supply system but is insufficient, the vice mayor said. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)