Sunday, July 09, 2006

40 city hall workers to lose houses; Ocon faults Dongkoy

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - (Cagayan de Oro Journal / July 8) - SOME 40 city hall employees would likely lose their houses for good due to the alleged failure of the local government to remit payments made for their loans to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

The houses would be auctioned off at the Hall of Justice on Aug. 10 after the GSIS subjected the properties to foreclosure.

Opposition Councilor Zaldy Ocon yesterday sought an investigation, saying he has reasons to believe that the legal proceedings were initiated by GSIS, the creditor, to repossess the properties because the employees’ loans were in default.

Ocon said he would raise the matter during the city council’s session next week.
Lino Daral, the city treasurer, said he also received a complaint from a group of employees. However, he denied it was city hall’s fault.

Daral said the foreclosed properties were that of city hall employees’ who opted to directly pay GSIS. He said their payments to GSIS were not automatically deducted by city hall.

"We (councilors) should look into this," said Ocon, adding that city hall officials responsible should be punished.

Ocon showed a letter from a group of city hall employees that complained about the failure of the local government to remit their payments to the GSIS. It blamed the foreclosure on city hall.

The group alleged that this has been going on for two years already.
Based on the complaint, Ocon said surcharges and penalties accumulated, and the debts of some employees reached to some P400 thousand each apparently as a result of the non-remittances.
Many of the foreclosed properties are in Canitoan, according to Ocon.

Ocon opted not to disclose the identities of the employees, saying they feared the mayor and his subordinates would get back at them for going public with their complaint.

Ocon said he would try to get evidence of the non-remittances including receipts and other related documents.

"Why is it that city hall is not remitting the payments to GSIS? How is this possible when the payments made by the employees for their loans were automatically deducted?’’ asked Ocon.
He said the unremitted payments could easily amount to millions of pesos.

A GSIS executive earlier confirmed to this paper that city hall has not been remitting contributions and payments for loans on time. The official said city hall was also into ‘‘underremittance’’––meaning, payments are not made in full.

Ocon has been accusing the Emano administration of corruption. Over DxCC where Ocon is a commentator, the opposition councilor has repeatedly demanded that Mayor Emano show the public a financial statement.

Ocon said he suspected city hall was having problems with its cash flow because of alleged corruption.

‘‘Our funds are drained out,’’ he said. ‘‘The GSIS is not at fault and neither is it the fault of the employees. It’s the fault of the Emano administration.’’

"that can be read at Gold Star Daily"

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