PAGCOR cites politics for Pili evac center cancellation

By Paulo DS. Papa


The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) admitted that politics was behind the cancellation of a P50-million evacuation center project in Cadlan, Pili, Camarines Sur.


Lawyer Alfredo Lim, PAGCOR president and chief operating officer, in an interview said that the project was cancelled due to a big problem involving Mayor Tomas Bongalonta Jr., and majority of the members of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB).


He said Bongalonta failed to get the authorization of the SB to sign the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with PAGCOR. The latter requires a MOA prior to the approval of the implementation of the project.


“Ayaw ko na mag-comment diyan kasi political na po ‘yan. Kaya lang po syempre based on our guidelines the mayor has to be authorized by the Sangguniang Bayan to sign for and in behalf of the municipality yung memorandum of agreement we are going to execute with them” he said.


To recall, majority of the SB members, during a regular session, disapproved a proposed resolution giving the mayor authority to sign the MOA to build a P50-million typhoon resistant evacuation center in Barangay Cadlan.


The SB, except for Councilors Francis Belen and Marcel Lopez, Bongalonta’s political allies, rejected the proposed resolution and recommending that the evacuation center should be built inside the Camarines Sur provincial capitol complex instead of Bongalonta’s proposed site in the same barangay.


PAGCOR has spearheaded the construction of evacuation centers in the towns of Goa, Tigaon, Sagñay, San Jose, and Naga City.


Lim said PAGCOR has shifted its focus from school building projects to building evacuation centers to provide safe shelters to people during typhoons and other calamities.


He said that PAGCOR is following the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to build evacuation centers that are stronger than typhoons.