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New Dagupan gov’t center gets initial funding


DAGUPAN CITY — The Dagupan City Council, in a special session Friday, appropriated PHP106 million to kick off the construction of a new government center in the city.

This was gleaned from two ordinances approved by the council on motion of City Councilor Jeslito Seen, chairman of the Committee on Appropriations.

The first ordinance approved the supplemental annual investment program in the amount of more than PHP126 million and the second ordinance realigned the surplus/savings of the city from various expenses and projects in 2016 and re-appropriated this for various projects programmed up to the end of the year.

Appropriated were PHP60 million to cover the cost for the construction of the planned government center; PHP25 million to cover the cost for the procurement of Consulting Services for the preparation of detailed architectural and engineering design and plan for the proposed government center; and PHP21 million to cover the cost for the center’s road and site development.

Seen cited the importance of the funds in starting work on the new government center, to be located in Barangay Pantal, at the newly designated Pantal-Lucao growth center.

He said since the PHP106 allocated by the council is not sufficient to complete the new government center, it is likely that the city government will apply for a PHP500-million to PHP600-million loan next year with the Land Bank of the Philippines.

The new government center will be built on a 1.2-hectare land donated to the city by the brother of Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez.

The transfer of the present government center to the donated land was endorsed in an ordinance earlier passed by the city council with nine councilors voting ‘yes’, one abstaining, and one voting ‘no’.

The vote was done after the council conducted a series of barangay consultations.

Also funded is the construction of a concrete foot bridge in Sitio Watak, Barangay Mamalingling worth PHP1.2 million to finally link barangays Bonuan Gueset and Mamalingling. (Leonardo Micua/PNA)
 

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Dagupan to borrow P590-M for new city hall construction


DAGUPAN CITY — Mayor Belen Fernandez said Tuesday that the city government will borrow PHP590 million for the construction of its new city hall on a donated land along the newly designated Pantal-Lucao growth center.

Fernandez refuted allegations by critics that the city is borrowing more than PHP1 billion for the four-storey new city hall, adding that the city council authorized her to negotiate only for a PHP590-million loan with a reputable financial institution.

Though the Bureau of Local Government Finance of the Department of Finance (DOF) has certified that Dagupan City can borrow as much as PHP886 million as computed from its approved budget next year of PHP948 million, the city is only borrowing PHP590 million, no more no less, she said.

Fernandez recalled that during the administration of former Mayor Benjamin Lim in 2004, the city of Dagupan borrowed close to PHP300 million to fund the construction of the three-storey Malimgas Public Market, when its annual budget that time was only Php345 million.

It still has an unpaid balance of PHP45 million with PHP29 million due next year and the remaining Php16 million by the first quarter of 2019.

Fernandez said PHP570 million will be used for the construction of the new city hall including its needed air-conditioning system, plumbing system, mechanical elevators, furniture, furnishing and other amenities.

The remaining PHP20 million of the loan amount will fund the installation of e-governance system that will modernize paper-less transactions including tax collections and other functions of the city government.

Fernandez said they will adopt the e-governance system of Milpitas, a sister city of Dagupan in California, USA, which she and other city officials studied when they visited that city sometime in September this year.

The e-governance system will link city hall with the 31 barangays of Dagupan where anybody who has business to transact with the city government, can make use of.

Fernandez said any amount that may be left unspent from the loan will be returned to the bank.

At least PHP25 million was also earmarked by the city from its own fund for consultancy services for the preparation of the plans and designs of the new city hall.

Land development on the proposed location of the new city hall is expected to start shortly with a supplemental budget of PHP20 million already approved by the city council.

Meanwhile, City Budget Officer Luz de Guzman dubbed as “fake news” or disinformation critics’ claim that when the city government obtains loan from the bank, taxes will be increased to ensure that the city government can pay its obligation.

De Guzman said the moderate increase in taxes of real properties in the city of Dagupan has just been approved by the city council this year and based on the Local Government Code, the next increase can be implemented only after five years. (PNA)
 

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Lowest, responsive bidder will win infra awards, say

April 3, 2018 Sunday Punch

LOWEST bids alone for infrastructure projects in the city will no longer be the criteria for qualification and selection of bids. The word evaluation of a bid by “responsive” company bidding has been added.

According to City Budget Officer Luz de Guzman, chairperson of Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) this is the new requirement of Republic Act No.9184 or the New Procurement Law.

The new requirement, she said, will already be adopted in determining the contractor for the backfilling of the 2.1-hectare land donated to Dagupan City as site of the new government center along Jose de Venecia Expressway Extension.

De Guzman said all the bids were already opened last week but did not release results of the initial evaluation naming the contractors with the lowest and responsive bids that will be submitted to the next stage of post qualification.

Meanwhile, Mayor Belen Fernandez said the city government will try to raise the fund for the project from its expected surpluses, De Guzman said the possibility that the city government will apply for P590 million for the remains: P570 million for the building and P20 million for its e-governance feature.


The city government, she said, received offers from the Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines and the Municipal Development Fund of the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) to give out loan for the project.


“If possible, it will be a loan payable in 10 months because Mayor Fernandez does not want a long amortization period,” she said.

De Guzman also announced that the construction of the boardwalk near the proposed government center at a cost of P75 million is already about to start.

The completion of the boardwalk, she said, may even precede the completion of the backfilling of the land for the new government center.

The project, which is similar to another boardwalk at Tondaligan Park, will be financed by the national government through the initiative of Fourth District Rep. Christopher de Venecia. (Leonardo Micua)
http://punch.dagupan.com/articles/news/2018/04/lowest-responsive-bidder-will-win-infra-awards-say/
 

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New business registrants in Dagupan City up 38%

DAGUPAN CITY — The One Stop Business Center (OSBC) here recorded 733 new businesses in the city in 2017, higher by 38.56 percent from 529 new business registrants the previous year.

OSBC officer-in-charge Randolf Ubando, in an interview on Monday, said most of these new businesses are in the retail industry, such as sari-sari stores, grocery stores and general merchandize.

Ulbando said rental businesses like apartments and commercial space are next on the list, followed by service industries such as hotels and restaurants.

“Most of these businesses are located in the city’s Central Business District (CBD), while others are situated in the new growth centers as per the latest Comprehensive Land Use Plan, which are currently being eyed as the next CBD in the city,” he said.

Ulbando further said they have surpassed their 10-percent annual target for new business registrants.

The city now has 4,569 new and renewed business registrants, wherein 277 are new business registrants as of April 16, he added.

Ubando attributed the rising number of investors and businessmen in the city to its capability to receive more business players, which marks a good business profile for Dagupan City.

“We are doing tax mapping and we send letters for other businesses who are not yet registered, but so far, we have high compliance of business registration in the city,” he said. Ahicam Pasion/PNA-northboundasia.com
 
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