Mary Olea Skurtu shares this photo of the unpaved road going to Dunggao in Sto. Niño, Cagayan. The road is one of the recipients of the lost P328 million CMGP allotment in 2017 for the province's rod projects.

Cagayan may lose millions for road projects yet again

Raymon DullanaRaymon Dullana is The Northern Forum's new editor in chief. He also works as correspondent for Rappler.com.

Cagayan

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- The province of Cagayan is at risk losing almost P90 million for 2018 road projects after not meeting the deadline for the submission of requirements.

In an earlier letter to Governor Manuel Mamba, the Department of Interior and Local Government, thru the League of Governors of the Philippines, informed the provinces that it is setting April 30 as the deadline for submission of requirements for the Conditional Matching Grant Program (CMGP).

The CMGP is a government program aimed to repair, rehabilitate and improve provincial roads.

Last year, DILG forfeited the supposed P328 million due to incomplete requirements, specifically the passage of the budget that included the province’s counterpart. The provincial board only passed the 2017 budget in December, after months of word war with Mamba.

Mamba, in an interview on Wednesday, April 2, confirmed the provincial government had not completed with the requirements yet, for same reasons as last year.

“Worse,” the province may lose its entitlement of funds for road projects for years 2019 to 2022 if it fails to meet the requirements for 2018.

During the regular session on Wednesday, Vice Governor Melvin Vargas said they could not pass the budget yet until the executive department complied with the submission of program of works for every proposed project.

Vargas said even the provincial engineering office under the office of the Governor agreed that a program of work is needed in the approval of plans and budget.

“Some officials of the DILG were there [at the previous sessions], they knew we could not pass the budget just yet,” Vargas said.

But Mamba, in reply, said the program of works is not needed this time and “will come later,” saying the proposed budget for the project were scientific estimates.

“But we will try our best na ibigay [ang program of works,] kung ano’ng kaya ng engineering office namin, kasi hindi ko talaga alam kung papaano,” Mamba said.

He added that the provincial board can later just question the implementation as part of their oversight power.

With the unmet deadline, Mamba said he had appealed again to the DILG to extend the deadline, or even make it available for the province without conditions.

“Kasi hindi ako su-surrender, because I believe na atin ‘to. Na kung puwede lang sana na walang kondisyon na ibigay nila, because we deserve to be helped by the national government,” he said. Northernforum.net