BY PET MELLIZA/ THE BEEKEEPER
Indo Paluay, number one councilor of Pototan, Iloilo and running for reelection in that town, built a rest house last year from his commission in the sale of heavy equipment to a mining company.
Through his connection with the principal supplier, he was able to deliver six units of bulldozers, pay-loaders and backhoes to a mining company. He narrated that information when we last met because the representative of the firm, an engineer surnamed Franco, happened to be my co-alumnus at a high school seminary, and he was extending his regards to me.
Indo was happy because he was able to strike P18 million worth of transaction “gid”.
Gid? That’s peanuts compared to the prank pulled off in Iloilo City, 36 kilometers south of Indo’s house in Pototan. The six pieces of heavy equipment, all made by Volvo, and for P18 million was a rare find for the mining firm. It was a good buy.
Iloilo City, shortly after Jed Patrick Mabilog assumed the mayoral seat in July 1, 2010, borrowed P90 million from LandBank to purchase heavy equipment for the Calajunan dumpsite.
It procured only a unit of backhoe, bulldozer and payloader, all fabricated by Caterpillar. The rest of the purchase comprised a dozen garbage trucks.
A year after the deal, only two pieces of heavy equipment could be seen at the 26-hectare dumpsite. The winning bidders of these two three units of heavy equipment and the garbage trucks, must have made a killing alongside lucky souls at city hall.
Where are the missing heavy equipment and garbage trucks? The ones that we see collecting trash still belong to the private contractor.
Indeed, Rommel Ynion has herculean tasks awaiting him should he get elected mayor of Iloilo City next month. This is an unsolicited advice, but yours truly suggests that he take up the issue of the P90 million loan for the dumpsite heavy equipment that has yet to be accounted for.
The money could have been enough to build three buildings the size of that of the Iloilo City College that Injap donated to the City. The three new buildings could serve as extension of the city college, a hospital or a high school.
That would have made indigent young Ilonggos happier, as well as Kgd. Jeffrey Ganzon who authored the local legislation establishing a city college.
It could also have been spent to build another abattoir because the newly built one which costs more than P100 million to erect and rehabilitate is so unhygienic that the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) to date still refuses to accredit to process swine and cattle.
The slaughterhouse, in Tacas, Jaro was operational in 2008. Its mechanized conveyor and chain blocks collapsed in 2010. After a P100 million rehabilitation, it was inaugurated last year with fanfare as “AA” and soon-to-be upgraded to “AAA” abattoir, the latter replete with cold storage and blast freezer so that it delivers frozen choice cuts, no longer carcasses as we have now.
After a month, the chain block and conveyors conked out again and the slaughtering is back to “normal” where carcasses are dumped on the concrete floor alongside slime and grime.
For cattle, the city has the old slaughterhouse in Molo which has no running water and septic tank. There, carcasses are “cleaned” on the muddied floor under the roof made of flaking asbestos tiles, their dusts spreading and falling to contaminate the meat or be inhaled by workers.
People exposed to asbestos dusts are at risk to develop cancer.
Hanky-panky in governance and cancer are interconnected, see?