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A CONTRACTOR is seeking the assistance of Senator Raffy Tulfo after he accused the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Sapang Dalaga, Misamis Occidental of disrupting the ongoing projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) due to hampering the sand and gravel transport.

Roy M. Yap, proprietor/ manager of RDY Builders Construction and General Merchandize, also sent a letter to Cebu Business Week to narrate the legal problem affecting some projects awarded to the company by DPWH that might result to slippage.

Yap said they are in contract of lease for all their equipment as well as the supply of sand and gravel to A.C. Rivero Development Corporation and Alqaod Construction and Supply.

Yap said that the contract that were awarded by DPWH, 1st District Engineering Office in Misamis Occidental include asset preservation program or road projects in Sapang Dalaga with Contract ID Nos. 22K10057, 22K10027, 22K10008 and 21K10118.

Accordingly, Yap said they ordered sand and gravel from Cayetano Jerome J. Doliente III (gravel, 240 cubic meters and sand, 240 cubic meters) per Mineral Transport Permit No. 2022-004 dated October 18, 2022.

Yap said that after compliance to all the necessary requirements, as the permittee, they loaded the sand and gravel on 10-wheeler dump trucks bearing plate Nos. NAG1728 (Howo), NBJ2917 (Howo), 122602 (HOWO), RJB695 (Isuzu) and ABV5721 (Fuso).

He said that on September 12, 2022, when the same dump trucks carrying the sand and gravel reached the boundary of Rizal, Zamboanga del Norte and Sapang Dalaga, Misamis Occidental, they were prevented entry because allegedly they need to pay for the corresponding transport taxes. But on the same day, other sand and gravel concessionaires were allowed entry at the border.

On the same day, Yap said their personnel went to the Municipal Treasurer’s Office of Sapang Dalaga to pay for the corresponding transport taxes. However, no one will receive the said payment because Sapang Dalaga Municipal Treasurer Grace Madrid and her assistant, Gina Pasco were absent.

Considering that time is of the essence, said personnel went to the office of Misamis Occidental Provincial Treasurer Elma Burlat, whose office is located approximately an hour away from the above-mentioned border and the Municipal Hall of Sapang Dalaga.

They wanted to pay the transport tax but unfortunately the office refused to receive such payment for the reason that there is an existing Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Provincial Government and the LGUs, hence they were referred back to the municipal treasurer of Sapang Dalaga.

In the said MOA, the Misamis Occidental Provincial Government authorized the Sapang Dalaga to collect importation fees of the sand and gravel from the importing permittee.

Yap said the MOA between the Misamis Provincial Government and the Sapang Dalaga Municipal Government was executed on October 4, 2022

He said that the incident happened after the approval of Ordinance No. 73-20 entitled “An Ordinance Imposing Sand and Gravel Transport Fee for all Sand and Gravel Materials brought into the Province of Misamis Occidental.”

He added that there were several attempts of their personnel to pay for the transport tax to Sapang Dalaga municipal treasurer’s office but they unlawfully refused to receive without formal or legal reasons.

“Our personnel even called their office to verify whether there is a suspension on the transport of sand and gravel in the Province of Misamis Occidental wherein their office responded in the negative,” Yap said.

In fact, Yap added that last September 14, 2022, their personnel together with their legal counsel and D o l i e n t e went to Sapang Dalaga municipal treasurer’s office to pay for the corresponding transport tax but unfortunately the payment was refused by a job order employee who said that it was a verbal order of Sapang Dalaga Mayor Donjie Animas not to receive payment for transport tax on sand and gravel because they are reviewing the MOA.

Yap said that the municipal treasurer and her assistant were allegedly on leave. Worst, the job order employee refused to divulge her name for purposes of documentation considering that it was an office hour. As a result, said incident was only recorded before the municipal police station of Sapang Dalaga.

Yap said their counsel exerted effort to call the provincial treasurer to ask for consideration to receive the payment for the transport tax taking into account that it is the said office that is legally authorized to do so being the primary office to receive such payments while the LGUs are only deputized collection offices.

However, the provincial treasurer’s office cited the MOA as their basis for them not to receive such payment; hence the legal counsel was referred to the provincial legal officer who again cited the MOA and the verbal order of Mayor Animas.