Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday informed the Sangguniang Panlalalwigan that he is filing a manifestation with appeal for resolution before the Commission on Audit, for it to rule on the sale by the Capitol of its property to AyalaLand Inc..
But he informed the SP that he will allow ALI to go ahead and develop the section of the provincial government property in Bacolod City near the Capitol that it has leased, even without COA approval.
Marañon yesterday furnished the SP with a copy of the manifestation he is filing before COA, copies of which were furnished the media by Vice Gov. Genaro Alvarez Jr.
The governor has earlier expressed disappointment that the COA did not include the deed of conditional sale of the Capitol land to Ayala for review at its banc meeting held in Tacloban last week.
COA Chairperson Grace Tan yesterday told the DAILY STAR it was not taken up because it was not on the agenda, but she does not know what is the status of the deed of conditional sale now as she has inhibited herself from acting on it.
The governor, in his manifestation, said almost 12 months have passed since his office submitted the proposed Deed of Conditional Sale and Contract of Lease on the Capitol property up for sale and lease to ALI to the COA for review.
The manifestation implores the COA, as a partner in government service, to heed the call of the people of Bacolod and Negros Occidental in support of the Capitol’s sale and lease of its property to ALI.
It said the delay in COAs action on the deed of conditional sale is prejudicial, not only to the provincial government, but more importantly, to the general public who stand to benefit from the endeavor.
The manifestation also informs the COA that the provincial government will go ahead and lease a portion of the property in question.
The governor’s manifestation said the sale or disposal of property is subject to COA review and approval under the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991. The provincial government also submitted the contract of lease to the COA in good faith to afford the COA the opportunity to asses the proposed project in it entirety on the economic growth and development of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, he said.
Negros Occidental Board Member Salvador Escalante said that while the law states that the sale and disposal of government property should pass through COA, it is silent on the lease of property.
So the governor has decided to implement the lease portion of the project, he said.
However, we will have to wait for the COA approval on the section of the property up sale, he added.
But then, again, there is a provision in the law that if you submit all the requirements, and if it is not acted on, in 15 days, it is deemed approved, he added.*CPG