P’sinan board wants Agno flood head fired

>> Sunday, December 20, 2009

By Mar T. Supnad

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan---The Sangguniang Panlalawigan here Tuesday passed a resolution requesting the Office of the President, through the secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways, for the immediate relief of Philip Meñez, Project Director of the Agno River Flood Control System Office in connection with the severe flooding that hit the province at the height of Typhoon Pepeng.

The possibly irked members of the Pangasinan provincial board also sought in the resolution the immediate replacement of Meñez whom they partly blamed for the flashflood that hit the province, causing the loss of less than 100 lives and billions of pesos worth of destroyed houses and agricultural products.

The action of the SP stemmed from Meñez’ consistent refusal to invitations of the SP to attend its hearings on the causes of the flooding that transpired during the height of Typhoon Pepeng, the first ever severe flooding that hit Pangasinan since time immemorial.

Neswmen learned that despite the billions of pesos the national government has spent for the past several years on flood control program here, the province was still not spared from the flooding and that the huge amount of money intended for the purpose was just went to naught.

Board Member Alfonso Bince, principal author of the resolution, said this is a “milder rebuke” warning that the provincial board was contemplating to declare him persona non grata in the province.

Despite the official invitation, Meñez failed to attend the Oct. 26 meeting presided by Governor Amado T. Espino. Jr. attended by all the mayors of the province.

He also snubbed the subsequent invitations of the provincial board on Nov. 9 and 16 and on Dec. 7 .

He did not send a representative from his office, earning the ire of the provincial officials.

“Mr. Meñez’ persistent disregard of legal invitations by the legislative body of the province is contumacious, an act of disrespect and discourtesy, if not indifference, to the welfare of Pangasinan and its inhabitants,” the resolution said.

The provincial board expressed its desire that a permanent and regular project director be appointed immediately to replace Mr. Meñez, who is just detailed from the Central Office of the DPWH and not a permanent appointee to the Agno Flood Control System.

Menez could not be reached for comment.


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