Commission on Audit finds Manila, San Juan with huge cash deficit

Commission on Audit

Pasig has excessive supplies procurement.

THE local governments of Manila and San Juan have billions of pesos cash deficit and debts left by their previous mayors while  Pasig City had hundreds of millions of pesos of “excessive” procurement of supplies and materials that went to waste, according to the Commission on Audit (CoA).

According to the CoA 2018 report, former Mayor Joseph Estrada left Manila with at least P4.3 billion cash deficit and P140 million worth of unresolved transactions and unliquidated cash advances.

It ordered Manila to settle various doubtful transactions which was declared as suspensions, disallowances, and charges amounting P42.538 million, P67.166 million and P31.317 million, respectively.

The CoA said the P67.166 million disallowances and P31.317 million charges were still unsettled when Estrada stepped down in office on June 30.

Based on the annual audit report (AAR), the P306.679 million amount of suspensions was composed of P49.475 million beginning balance in 2018 and P257,203,250.05 payments for the 280 electronic tricycle (E-Trike) for the city’s livelihood program and payment for the hauling and garbage disposal services in District 1 to 4 West Sector last January 1 to March 31, 2018.

Meanwhile, the P6.937 million part of the P67.166 million disallowances was spent for one unit of steam boiler acquired by the city for the use of Veterinary Inspection Board located at Vitas, Tondo.

In San Juan under Estrada’s wife former Mayor Guia Gomez, the CoA found the previous administration had massive undercollection of P736.1 million from eight large business taxpayers thus depriving the city funds to implement much-needed priority projects and activities.

The largest tax delinquencies were recorded from the affluent barangays of San Juan — Greenhills, P68.5 million; Ermitano, P13.07 million; Batis, P9.2 million and Little Baguio, P7.9 million.

Records of the CoA also showed the following may have failed to pay the assessed business taxes:  Puregold Price Club Inc., Ortigas and Company Limited Partnership; Motor Image Pilipinas Inc., Motor Image Manila, Inc., Techron Systems Corp., Colinas Verdes Hospital Managers Corporation, Unimart Inc. and Integrated Computer Systems.

The state auditors reminded the city government that it is allowed by City of San Juan Revenue Code of 2013 to demand from the business establishments the examination of their respective books of accounts.

In Pasig City under former administration of mayor Bobby Eusebio, it had purchased supplies amounting to P755.6 million that went to waste because these items were not utilized. The CoA added that Eusebio purchased P951.787 million worth of supplies but utilized only P196.137 million.

The “excessive” procurement includes merchandise inventory worth P213.675 million, food supplies for distribution worth P22.432 million, medicines worth P12.610 million, textbooks and other educational materials worth P15.284 million.

But despite procurement problems, the audit team noted the increased revenue of the city for 2018 amounting to P10.883 billion with an increase of P1.941 billion from the 2017 revenue totaling P8.941 billion.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno yesterday said he will not waste his time on filing charges against the past administration of Estrada regarding the CoA report of P4.4 billon bankruptcy in Manila and will instead focus on solutions and how to make his plans work while being thrifty and let the proper authorities institute charges, if any.

A short “I told you so” was Moreno’s reply when asked for his reaction regarding the CoA report.

Moreno said he will no longer dwell on filing charges but will let other proper authorities to run after the past administration since the records already speak for themselves.

Meanwhile, Moreno issued an appeal for politicians not to use schools and hospitals to promote themselves and to remove their propaganda materials.

“Huwag natin pulitikahin ang ating mga paaralan. Let’s leave politics to politicians, and our educational institutions to academicians. Walang epal sa pader ng eskwelahan. Walang epal sa mga basketball court, gymnasium na pinagawa ng mga pulitiko sa loob ng eskwelahan. Bawal ang epal. Tigilan na natin ‘yan,” he said.