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DBM releases SARO for P2.6-B Malampaya royalties PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 March 2008

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, March 5 (PNA) -- The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has recently issued a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) containing P2.6 billion as part of the disputed 40 percent Palawan’s share from the proceeds of exploration, development and production of the $ 4.5-billion Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power project located in the northern part of the province.

The issuance of the SARO authorized by Executive Order (EO) 683 issued by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo last December was confirmed by Vice Governor David Ponce de Leon and Palawan’s first district Rep. Antonio Alvarez in an interview by mediamen here.

Ponce de Leon said the issuance of SARO allows the conduct of bidding processes for the infrastructure projects listed under the provincial government’s Annual Investment Plan.

The vice governor assured the Malampaya funds will be spent on the intended infrastructure projects, dispelling reports that Palawan officials will be spending the fund like “pork barrel.”

Alvarez said that out of P2.6 billion, P900 million will go to the provincial government, P816 million is allocated to the first congressional district, P270 million intended to highly urbanize Puerto Princesa and the remaining fund will be received by the office of second district Rep. Abraham Khalil Mitra.

He said that another P2.6 billion will be released by June 2008 also as part of the share from the development of the petroleum resource.

Alvarez, Governor Joel T. Reyes, Mitra and Mayor Edward Hagedorn expressed their gratitude to President Arroyo for ordering the release of Malampaya funds, noting that the amount will bankroll various infrastructure projects in the province’s 431 barangays, 23 municipalities and Puerto Princesa City.

They said the utilization of the Malampaya money will focus on the implementation of airport and road projects in line with the President’s “Super Region” concept, where Palawan has been developed as a major tourism destination.

The release of the Malampaya money is the realization of the Interim Agreement (IA) signed in February 2005 by two parties to equally split the 40-percent share of Malampaya gas without prejudice to the legal battle on territorial ownership over the gas project pending at the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Alvarez further disclosed that he and other provincial government officials met with Bishop Pedro Arigo to ask him to withdraw the petition for temporary restraining order challenging the legality of EO 683 filed with the Court of Appeals.

The said order authorizes the disbursement and sets the sharing between the province and the national government of the revenue from the Malampaya natural gas field.

Bishop Arigo is one of the respondents in the certiorari petition. (By Alex Villanueva Jr.
/ PNA)


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