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City realigns P18.1-Million to improve road safety
27 July 2020 - “Bike lanes, anyone?”
The City Council, July 27, approved realignment of P18.1-million to fund projects improving road safety and easing up of a traffic chokepoint in the city.
During their session, Monday, the aldermen reverted the amount to the city’s coffers and reprogrammed the same to fund projects branded by the executive department as “urgent and necessary”.
The amount was earlier part of a P20-million subsidy for drivers of Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJs) servicing certain city routes during the effectivity of General Community Quarantine (GCQ) last May.
The PUJs were then allowed to ferry passengers but only on a 50-percent capacity, thus the subsidy to defray gasoline and maintenance expenses.
The projects certified urgent include installation of bicycle lanes – P4,325,000.00; improvement of road markers to improve traffic, P2,089,00.00; and, the construction of bridge connecting Maya and Agila Streets at Dizon Subdivision Barangay, P3,959,080.00.
Also in the list are the installation of international standard road signs and symbols at P6,809,920.00; and, the putting up of an electrical system at the city’s temporary waste transfer station along Marcos highway valued at P955,000.00
Earlier, the Council approved ordinance No. 39, series of 2020, reverting P150-million to the city’s general fund. The amount was culled from savings from city projects.
It was reappropriated for purposes in line with the city’s battle with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID) 2019. Of the P150-million, P20-million was earmarked for the drivers of PUJs
City Administrator Bonifacio Dela Peña, in a letter dated June 19, 2020 admitted, only P1.86 million was utilized by the city for the supposed subsidy.
He then suggested realignment of the surplus to fund the council-approved projects.
According to him, the city discontinued the subsidy when it transitioned to Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), beginning June 16. There was significant increase in the number of PUJs allowed to operate in the city and neighboring towns of Benguet, he added.
As a proviso for the approval of the realignment, the Council told the Local Finance Committee to ensure there is enough funds to sustain the city’s COVID-19 operations.** Dexter A. See