Muntinlupa City Mayor clarifies issue about P1.2 billion standby loan from Landbank

If you are a local resident of Muntinlupa City, were you a recipient of circulating text messages about a certain loan worth over a billion Pesos that was allegedly used by City Government? Recently, Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi clarified the issue, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin report. Some parts in boldface…

Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi refuted claims by his detractors that the city government already used a P1.2 billion standby loan from Landbank of the Philippines.

In March 2021, the Muntinlupa City Council passed an ordinance authorizing Fresnedi to enter into a loan agreement with Landbank in the amount of P1.2 billion to fund various projects.

During the flag raising ceremony at the Muntinlupa City hall quadrangle on March 7, Fresnedi reiterated that the city government has not availed of the standby loan.

“The Muntinlupa City government gave us the authorization to get a loan from Landbank. As of Dec. 31, our ending balance [at Landbank] is more than P2 billion. The [Landbank] manager said we have not availed of our standby loan. This means we have not taken any [amount from the standby loan],” said Fresnedi.

Fresnedi clarified the issue after text messages circulated claiming that the city government already got the loan from Landbank.

Landbank earlier issued a certification stating that the Muntinlupa City government has not availed of the loan.

“This is to certify that per records of this office, City Government of Muntinlupa has no outstanding drawdown as of December 31, 2021,” according to a certification issued by Landbank and signed by Lani Pornuevo, head of the Loan Operations Management Department.

Fresnedi said getting a loan is not a bad thing. He said when he assumed office during his first ever term as mayor, the city government took out a loan and used it to construct the Ospital ng Muntinlupa.

“Please remember, getting a loan is not bad when it is used in the right way,” he said.

The mayor said if ever the city government avails of the standby loan from Landbank, it will be used to fund ongoing projects of the city government.

In fact, he said, Landbank has sent two letters to the Muntinlupa City government to remind it about the standby loan.

According to Fresnedi, the standby loan is a program of the national government for economic recovery. The standby loan carries an interest of four percent per year.

“But what the city government needs to pay, if ever we avail of the loan, is only two percent per annum. The other two percent will be paid by the national government,” he said.

He said this is being done to help businesses to run and to help people get jobs, which are part of the national government’s national economic recovery plan.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what do you think about the mayor’s clarification? Were the details explained well by him? Do you personally believe that the LGU (local government unit) should always be scrutinized over any loan it takes?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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