January 12, 2017 12:33 AM

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Provincial Board Member Salvador Escalante said on Jan. 11, 2017 that vehicles for provincial board members are a necessity.

Escalante issued this statement amid criticism from some sectors questioning the purchase of vehicles for the board members.

He said that the Provincial General Services Office conducted a second bidding for eight brand new service vehicles of the Sanggunian Panlalawigan members.

He said the first bidding was declared a failure, thus the second bidding.

"The prices set for the purchase of the new vehicles were too tight that no suppliers submitted any bid," Escalante explained.

He also said that the specifications in the purchase order "were very specific."

"Not all suppliers can deliver a pickup truck worth P1.1 million except for those made in China," Escalante said.

In October 2016, the Department of Interior and Local Government has approved the purchase of eight brand new Nissan Navara 4x2 Calibre vehicles for the SP members worth P1.3 million.

The brand new vehicles will be assigned to Board Members Annabelle Bermudo, Valentino Miguel Alonso, Renato Malabor Jr., Jose Maria Alonso, David Albert Lacson, Samson Mirhan, Pedro Zayco and Escalante.

Escalante said he and Zayco requested for new vehicles as their old issued vehicles will go to the certain departments that will need them.

The eight brand new vehicles will cost the provincial government more than P8 million.

Escalante pointed out that as provincial members, they represent the governor in the different barangays of the province.

"Once I had to represent him in three separate events in the cities of San Carlos, Talisay and Cadiz in just one day. How can I cover all of it if I do not have a service vehicle," he said.

He also added that as representatives of the governor, "we should represent him with dignity."