Dagupan's cash position remains stable, says city bursar

July 29, 2010 11:34 am 

By Leonardo V. Micua

DAGUPAN CITY, July 29 — The city treasurer here has affirmed that the fiscal position of Dagupan City remains stable, contrary to the claims that it has already run out of cash.

Speaking before the July 26 city council, City Treasurer Romelita Alcantara contradicted insinuations that the city has no more fund and no longer in a position to pay the salaries and wages of its employees.

Invited by the city council to shed light on the real state of finances of the city in aid of legislation, Alcantara revealed there remains P131,916,712.18 million in the general fund in the city coffer.

All these, she said, were placed in time and savings/current deposits in various banks.

The amount consists of P117,281,933.48 in time deposit and another P14,634,778.70 in savings/current deposit. Of the total, said Alcantara, P110,046,857.18 is available for disbursement.

The rest of the amount includes the Special Education Fund of P9,889,686.07 and trust fund of P6,345,390.23.

The figures were corroborated by city accountant Teresita Manaois.

Alcantara said that as of June 30, 2010 when the past city administration stepped down, all the employees, both regular or emergency, were paid of their salaries and wages.

Those who were not paid from July 1 to 15 are only the emergency workers (EWs) because the budget for their wages was only up to June 30 and also in line with the policy of the new city administration of Mayor Benjamin Lim to freeze the appointment of all EWs in all offices purportedly due to lack of fund.

Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez, city council presiding officer and part of the former city administration, said that in relation to the new mayor’s policy, even the city councilors have no EWs in their offices.

She told newsmen later that per the report of the two officials, more than 48 percent of this year's budget is still available, thus there is no reason that salaries of employees will not be paid.

According to Alcantara, the restoration of the EWs will depend on the city officials but they must look for available funds from other sources.

To further prove that Dagupan is awash with cash and not in the red, Alcantara attested that all the disbursement vouchers brought to the treasurer’s office were all paid.

Alcantara also assured that the city can meet all its obligation up to December 31 this year. She added that the targeted tax collection of the city for 2010 is P498 million with 57 percent of the target or P287 million already collected as of June 30.

She is also optimistic that the target tax collection will be met.

But comparing Dagupan with Urdaneta City, Alcantara said the latter is relatively better because it has another source of income, the Local Government Unit-operated university that gave that city in 2009 alone an additional income of P123 million.

The income from students’ tuition fees and miscellaneous fees in the Urdaneta City University accrue to the general fund of the city, she added.

Both Dagupan and Urdaneta are second class cities.

Dagupan used to be a first class city till it was reclassified to second class based on its average income from 2004 to 2007 of P335 million, below the income bracket of P400 million then set by the Department of Finance for first class cities.

But Alcantara expressed confidence that in the next reclassification in 2011, Dagupan may get back its first class status if the income bracket is not increased to P500 million with the city's current income of P498 million. (PNA)



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