Friday, January 25, 2013

Capitol’s left with P4.9M worth of expired checks, according to treasury records

..RECORDS at the Cebu Provincial Treasurer’s Office revealed that the Capitol has 147 checks worth P 4.9 million that are deemed “stale.” The payment dates of the checks were more than six months ago. Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said the checks can be re-issued. She added that at the end of each year, Capitol always discovers old checks. Banks may refuse to accept a check that is more than six months old unless its drawer reconfirms payment by revising the date or issuing a new one. A staff of the vice governor’s office who asked not to be named said some of the recipients of the checks have obtained loans and used the checks as collateral. “Ang uban ana nangutang na ug nagbayad na og interest (some have borrowed money and are already paying interests),” said the staff. Assistance The checks were meant as financial assistance to projects in the barangays, such as water supply, infrastructure and day care centers. The amount on the checks ranged from P10,000 to P250,000. Eighty-five of the checks were issued to the office of vice governor, a position held by Agnes Magpale, who assumed as acting governor upon Garcia’s suspension. Garcia was ordered suspended for six months by Malacañang. The suspension order was posted at the Capitol on Dec. 19. Upon assumption of office, acting governor Magpale ordered an evaluation of the Capitol’s finances. Garcia said barangays can still get assistance from the Capitol if the Provincial Board approves a supplemental budget that will allot funds for projects that were meant to be funded by the old checks. She said the checks were not distributed for varied reasons. She said some checks may have been superseded by other payments. She admitted, though, that she had intended to distribute some of the checks. Other checks could have been claimed by the municipal or barangay treasurer, she said. “This is not the first time. It is a usual practice that at the end of the year, checks not released will be funded by another supplemental budget,” she said.