Due to lack of funds, the House of Representatives has held off action on an appropriation measure seeking funding for the architectural and engineering design as well as construction of a new Man’amko center on Rota.
The legislation, offered by Rep. Alejo M. Mendiola from Rota, would set aside some $200,000 from an earlier appropriation made by the Legislature to the proposed project in Sinapalo village.
Most of the money would be sourced from the remaining balance of the $350,000 alloted to another center for the elderly in Songsong, Rota which, according to Mendiola, only used about $150,000 of the total amount.
But Finance Sec. Lucy DLG. Nielsen cautioned legislators against passing the bill, noting the source it has identified for appropriation to the project is now down to some $42,000.
In a memorandum to the Legislature, she said records at the Department of Finance showed there is not much money to be reprogrammed for the Sinapalo project as claimed by lawmakers.
“Other than the discrepancy in the amount available for the Man’amko center, we have no other objections to this bill,” Nielsen said, adding the Legislature must re-appropriate the available balance to make use of the funding.
“This action is needed since the other projects that were authorized for appropriation (in the original measure) have already been completed or nearing completion,” she pointed out.
Although the bill was passed earlier by the House and was amended last July by the Senate, representatives decided not to vote on the amendment to further review the availability of funds.
The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to meet with finance officials to reconcile the conflicting figures.
In a sign that elections is near, lawmakers have been trying to squeeze in funding for their pet projects despite warning from DOF that the local coffers does not have enough resources to grant their requests.