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Baguio has no outstanding debt – Domogan

BAGUIO CITY June 27 – Outgoing Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan declared he will be leaving the local government without any outstanding debt with whatever government or private financial institutions that could have compromised the city's fiscal standing.

The 6-term local chief executive claimed that there had been numerous offers from various private and public financial institutions to provide the local government with adequate funds that will bankroll the completion of high-impact development projects but he refused to take such offers because of their projected serious repercussions to the fiscal position of the city in the future aside from the fact that he does not want his successors to inherit any debt that could be blamed on him in the future.

"We are proud to leave the local government with a clean slate in terms of debt. We had received numerous proposals for the local government to avail of loans from financial institutions in the past but we never accepted such offers because we knew its repercussions to the finances of the city," Domogan stressed.

Even when the city was recovering from the wrath of the July 16, 1990 killer earthquake that rocked most parts of Northern Luzon, including Baguio city that sent the country's Summer Capital into rubbles then, he explained that acquiring loans just to help the city rise from the rubbles of the quake was never an option because the national government, through former President Fidel V. Ramos, was supportive in the completion of high impact-development projects that were completed without the local government being indebted to private and public financial institutions.

According to him, the incoming administration of Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong will be inheriting a clean slate in terms of debt thus he will have no problem settling the local government's obligations as he made sure the city will have no debt when the new executive takes over the city's lordship noon of June 30, 2019.

Domogan explained the local government implement high impact development projects over the past several years through wise fiscal management and the prioritization of the needs of the city using available funds that will be budgeted annually as the local legislative body failed to pass the necessary revenue measures that would have supported more development projects in the barangays.

He expressed his gratitude to the city's finance officers for not pushing for the availment of loans from private and public financial institutions for the implementation of more development projects during his term as they knew he as allergic to loans.

The outgoing mayor claimed even government banks, through the years, were willing to provide the city government with unlimited credit line because of its status as a highly urbanized city, but he was never tempted to take the offer as he was mindful of its effect to the future leaders of the city and its repercussion to the local government's fiscal position in the coming years, especially grants from international financial institutions.

Baguio City is the lone highly urbanized city in the Cordillera with 40 percent dependence on the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) from the national government.

By Dexter A. See

 
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