Outgoing guv to entrust fate of rescue vehicles to successor

Outgoing Gov. Esteban Evan Nonoy Contreras

By Felipe V. Celino

ROXAS CITY, Capiz – Outgoing Gov. Esteban Evan Nonoy Contreras will entrust to the next administration the fate of 58 rescue vehicles which he distributed to the different villages in the province and some non-governmental organization (NGO).

Contreras made the pronouncement after the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Capiz sought to recall the rescue vehicles due to the purported lack of proper procedure in the distribution of the vehicles to the beneficiaries.

In a radio interview on Monday, Contreras denied that the distribution failed to follow proper procedures claiming the SP’s move is part of “politicking” by his political rivals.

Contreras lost to Capiz Second District Rep. Fredenil Castro by a huge margin of votes in the May 9 elections.

Board Member Jonathan Besa said the intention of the SP is to ensure the condition and maintenance of the vehicles including the responsibilities of the beneficiaries.

Besa said the outgoing administration that should erase the word “Kabalaka” from the vehicles and re-paint this with the name of the provincial government at the expense of Contreras.

Besa said the word “Kabalaka”, which was painted on the sides of the vehicles, was a name of a local political party when the outgoing administration wanted to register with the Commission on Election (Comelec).

He said the act is a violation with the joint memorandum circular of the Commission on Audit (COA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

He pointed out that based on the audit observation memorandum of COA, the provincial board must first authorize the distribution of rescue vehicles.

Besa said Contreras ignored this memorandum and it was only recently that the outgoing governor requested for an authority even if the vehicles were already released to the recipients years ago.

“The beneficiaries should not have to worry because we only want to strengthen and implement the proper process which was bypassed by camp of Governor Contreras,” Besa said.

The Mahindra rescue vehicles were distributed to different barangays in the province of Capiz through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO).