City owes school P60M, probes tax

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Monday, June 11, 2012


THE Asian College of Technology (ACT) has over P60.1 million in collectibles from the Cebu City Government.

The City Treasurer’s Office is allegedly withholding payment until after tax investigation has been conducted.

According to the scholarship committee, all 21 participating schools of the Cebu City Scholarship Program were examined for tax liabilities.

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ACT is yet to comply with the requirements and documentation.

But Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa continues to accept scholars in his school.

Last Monday, the Cebu Technological University CTU did not enroll Cebu City Government scholars because of the local government unit’s failure to pay just over a million pesos to the school.

The issue was immediately settled last Tuesday.

Abellanosa, though, said he understands the plight of processing of the City Government, which he is a part of.

This is why he is not inclined to make a demand of payment to the City.

“If there is money available, then I will ask for the payment,” said Abellanosa.

He said the City has always been delayed in paying for the scholarship bills, but he has never made a formal demand and he never asked school administrators not to accept any more scholars until the school is paid.

Period

The P60.1 million represents two semesters of school year 2011 to 2012.

ACT has the most number of scholars among 21 participating schools and it is owned by Abellanosa.

“We are still accepting scholars because I’m part of the City Government and I know the limitation,” said Abellanosa.

There were different reasons for the delay in the payment of CTU and ACT though.

In the case of CTU, Councilor Jose Daluz III, chairperson of the scholarship committee, explained that there was a delay in both the billing, which is on the part of the school, and processing of payment by Cebu City Government.

New strategies

In the case of ACT, the issue is supposed to be on the taxes that the school is paying.

The new administration of the scholarship committee will be introducing new strategies to spread out the scholars in participating schools.

Daluz admitted, though, that the committee did not have enough time to introduce the changes.

Daluz only came in as chairman a couple of months ago.

Last year, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama nudged out Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young as committee chairman and later, as member of the committee.

Among the supposed changes to be introduced is to put a cap on the number of scholars in a particular school, related to the taxes the school is paying to the City Government.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 11, 2012.

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