Veteran Rota senator Paul Manglona has expressed dissatisfaction over what he considers as his fellow Rota lawmaker Crispin Ogo’s willingness to let a Rota bill be defeated at the House of Representatives.
“He [Ogo] is the one who encouraged his colleagues not to pass it. To me, that shows a sign of immaturity. After all, you’re talking about a local funding for Rota. The original intent of the bill was never changed but they didn’t pass it,” said Manglona in an interview yesterday in reference to the House’s rejection of House Bill 14-271.
Ogo, a first-time congressman from the Covenant Party, said that it was due to Manglona and another Rota senator, Diego Songao’s refusal to sign a conference committee report Friday that blocked the passage of the bill.
“If they signed the report, the bill should have been passed by now,” said Ogo.
The bill aims to appropriate $247,804 from the Solid Waste Management Fund for Rota capital improvement projects.
The bill, introduced by Ogo last September, seeks to fund at least six different projects on Rota: covered bleachers, press box, public address system and toilet facility for the Major and Little League fields in Liyo ($30,000) and in Sinapalo I, District I, and Teneto village basketball courts ($42,500); surface improvements and fencing in Teneto, Sinapalo I, District I basketball courts ($70,000); new basketball court adjacent to new Youth Center in Sinapalo ($40,304); toilet facilities and solar light fixtures for tourists sites: Guata beach pavilion, Bird Sanctuary, Swimming Hole, peace memorial ($50,000); and beautification project equipment for the 10th Rota Municipal Council ($15,000).
Both Ogo and Manglona agreed in separate interviews yesterday that the issue boils down to their differing opinion on the reprogramming of funds.
Manglona said he disagrees with Ogo’s position that reprogramming authority lies with the Legislature, not the Rota legislative delegation.
“What frustrated me is we’re going to delay it because of that one provision he wanted to include. He insists that if there’s reprogramming, it needs to go to the Legislature. That’s what I’m against because this is a local funding. It depends on the local delegation,” said Manglona.
“He [Ogo] has no confidence in his own delegation. He should not hold hostage this funding because of his fear of his own delegation. If he has a good idea, he needs to convince the delegation,” said the senator.
The bill earlier passed the House but the Senate amended it to include the provision that “no funds…shall be reprogrammed except by Rota legislative delegation resolution.”
The House rejected it during a recent session held on Rota.
On Friday, Ogo said a conference committee report was supposed to be finalized but Manglona and Songao did not sign it.
“I don’t like that Senate inclusion. It’s a wrong decision by the Senate. I don’t agree with them,” said Ogo.
He noted that a number of Rota projects “are not being completed” partly due to the local delegation’s reprogramming.
“It’s about time for Rota to complete programs. I don’t want the Rota delegation to reprogram it. I want completed projects. I don’t really care if the senator does not like it,” said Ogo.
He said that most of the proposed projects under the bill directly affect youth programs and the rest promotes tourism.
“I’m a strong advocate for youth programs and I don’t want the Rota delegation to reprogram the funds, which would result in non-completion of these projects,” said Ogo.
He said it does not matter if the money is local or CIP funding; the important thing is that projects must be completed. Ogo said he would try to meet with senators again next week to iron out their differences on the bill.
If Manglona and Songao do not support it, he said, he would look for the other senators’ endorsement.
“We need four senators’ signatures,” he said.