Albee wants to repurpose coliseum funds for markets

Mayor-elect Alfredo “Albee” Benitez wants to repurpose the funds allocated for the construction of a Bacolod Coliseum for a cheaper and simpler convention or trade center, and realign the rest of the funds for the further improvement of the three Bacolod markets.

Benitez met with the City Engineer’s Office and Development Bank of the Philippines officials at the construction site in Barangay Alijis Wednesday, May 25.

The city government has a close to P800 million loan for the coliseum, and about P250 million has already been withdrawn from DBP, he said.

“We are asking legal if the funds can be repurposed, as far as DBP is concerned it has no problem with it,” he said.

Benitez said he will also meet with the Yanson family who donated the land for the coliseum and the contractor.

“In terms of usage, I feel that the markets should have more priority than the coliseum,” he said.

He wants to upgrade the Burgos, Central and Libertad markets, because the initial allocation of P50 million for each of them by the current administration is just for a facelift, Benitez said.

“We want a comprehensive solution that will address the market’s needs,” he said, adding that a study is underway for substantial upgrades.

“We will consult with the stakeholders,” he said.

Benitez said a meeting has also been held with the telecommunication and cable firms for the cleaning of their “spaghetti wires” on electric polls in Bacolod City.

“They are in agreement because it is also beneficial to them. They will just wait for an executive order from us to start work at no cost to the city government,” he said.

They will initially address the “spaghetti wires” along Lacson Street and eventually the whole city, Benitez added.

Benitez said they are also organizing the City Health Office to operationalize the Bacolod Comprehensive Health Program cards that he promised during the campaign.

He will also meet with the Bacolod police station commanders to determine how they can improve peace and order and traffic, and will visit the city’s sanitary landfill, Benitez said.

A group will also go over all documentations of purchases made by the city to determine if there was overpricing, he said. We will do a comprehensive audit so we will have a starting point and can start fresh, he said.

Depending on how much budget is left they will also improve street lights and roads leading to subdivisions, Benitez added.

The Bacolod City Government Center services will be made more responsive to the people, he said.*

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