November 12th, 2010
Leyte Samar Daily Express
TACLOBAN CITY—Mayor Gerardo Espina, Sr. of Kawayan, Biliran reiterated his call for the turning over of the school buses which were purchased during the term of former Rep. Glenn Chong as representative of the lone district of Biliran.
“I believe those were bought with government funds and it should be surrendered to the province or to the municipality where the bidding was conducted,” Mayor Espina, who sits as the president of the province’s League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP),said.
According to Espina, the school buses were bid out in the island municipality of Maripipi and added that the transaction was already questionable.
“Maripipi is an island municipality…and why is it that the bidding was held there? So, I will also ask the mayor (Uldarico Macorol) to check whether the buses belong to their municipality,” Espina added.
To recall, right after the May elections, Espina sought an inquiry before the Commission on Audit (COA) central office on the legality of the purchases of the 12 school buses used in the Free School Bus System of former Rep. Chong.
“Based on reliable sources, the buses are now placed in a private garage in Baragay Caraycaray (Naval). They should have been turned over especially that those are government properties,” Espina stressed.
He added that he also intends to check the ownership of the buses, which were reportedly bought as second-hand from a private individual.
“If the purpose was to shuttle students from the far-flung barangays of the province to their schools, then it should continue by way of turning them over to the proper agency like the provincial government or the office of the congressman,” the mayor said.
He also said that if the buses would be recovered, it should be equally distributed to the eight municipalities of the province to serve as school bus services. (REYAN L. ARINTO)
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