Bohol provincial board to buy 14 brand new vehicles worth P24 million
TAGBILARAN CITY — The vice governor and 13 members of the Bohol provincial board will get new vehicles worth a total of P24 million this year.
Vice Gov. Dionisio Victor Balite, who presides over the 13-member board, said the purchase of vehicles for the use of the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), including himself, is timely and relevant so they could function effectively and reach their constituents easily.
“This is for the safety of our board members since the vehicles we are using are already old,” Balite said.
He also said that buying new service vehicles would be less costly than having the old and dilapidated ones purchased during the previous administration to be regularly maintained and repaired.
He pointed out that the Provincial General Services Office (PGSO) told him that maintaining the old SP vehicles is costlier than getting new ones. Some of the local legislators are still using the old Strada vehicle which were purchased during the time of then Gov. Edgar Chatto.
For now, the total budget for the procurement of the 14 Nissan Navara vehicles is P24 million or P1.4 million each.
Balite said that before the vehicles can be bought, it must comply with all the rules and regulations in accordance with the new guidelines promulgated by the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Interior and Local Government.
The new vehicles will be used by the board members and any government agency for delivery of relief goods during a tragedies.
In 2020, the SP wanted to buy new vehicles for its members, including the vice governor. However, the plans got shelved because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following year, the SP pushed for the purchase of the vehicles. Balite, who was then the senior board member, opposed the plans of former Vice Gov. Rene Relampagos and the SP to buy new vehicles.
Balite said he opposed the procurement of vehicles because the pandemic continued and COVID-19 cases were still rising.
This year, he said, Bohol is already under Alert Level 1 and that the restrictions have been eased.
Balite assured the public that buying new vehicles was done in good faith.
“Rest assured that during the budget hearing and approval of the budget for the next year, you are not forgotten. Health, agriculture, and tourism are our priorities. The rest will follow. Don’t worry, our governor and board members don’t neglect you. We are always watching you. We work for the benefits of all,” he said.