Can coliseum funds be used for markets?

The Bacolod Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) head said on Friday, May 27, that he has doubts on whether the funds allocated for the city coliseum can be repurposed for other projects.

Mayor-elect Alfredo “Albee” Benitez wants to repurpose the funds allocated for the construction of a Bacolod Coliseum in Barangay Alijis 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.

The city government has a close to P800 million loan for the coliseum, and about P250 million has already been withdrawn from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), he said.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,” Benitez said.

City Assessor Maphilindo Polvora, Bacolod BAC head, said he cannot say if the funds can be repurposed or not but he has his doubts.

That is because there is already a contract between the Local Government Unit and the contractor that has already been consummated, he said.

They would also have to look into the conditions of the deed of donation of the Yanson family, the donor of the site of the coliseum, Polvora added.

On Benitez creating a Truth Commission, Polvora said the BAC has nothing to hide, all of the BAC documents are furnished to the Commission on Audit.*

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