MCWD asked to write off P77M in surcharges for late payments-A A +A
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama wants the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) to write off some P77 million in late payment charges, if it’s true that the City Government owes the utility firm that amount.
The mayor said the P77 million could be MCWD’s contribution to the City Government, which will be used to fund infrastructure projects and other basic services that will benefit the people of the city.
Rama said he will also not allow the amount to serve as MCWD’s payment for its unpaid real property taxes amounting to some P69.5 million.
“Of course not, why should we allow that? As for those late payment charges, ayaw sila paundaya. Maayo pa mutabang sila ug ila ng i-declare as bad debt. Sila mubayad gihapon sila (sa taxes) kay sila man ang gasige ug ginansya (They can declare the amount as bad debt. But they still need to pay property taxes because they continue to make a profit),” he told reporters yesterday.
Rama said it’s not unfair to demand payment from MCWD for unpaid taxes and at the same time ask that the City’s unpaid accounts be written off.
“We will not pay that. Instead atong hangyoon sila kay taxes are for the people. Kani ron atong bayad asa padung, for the people or for them? Dili na unfair kay it will not reach my pockets, it will all redound to the people…. Palihog lang kay ang City Government nagkinahanglan ug kwarta. Naa koy konseho nga walay laing gihuna-huna but babag ra gyud (We will request MCWD since the money will go to the people. The City is need of money because the council does nothing but blocks my projects),” he said, referring to some projects that the council blocked by cutting his proposed budget.
In an interview yesterday, City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete clarified that MCWD did not bill the City for the late payment charges amounting to P77 million.
He said that since last year, the City does not have unpaid monthly water bills, that is why he presumed that the late payment charges were from previous years’ accounts.
“This is not an unpaid debt. We still have to discuss this with MCWD. All our bills are up-to-date so there’s no reason they should charge as for late payment. I would presume these are old accounts,” he said.
MCWD public information officer Charmaine Rodriguez confirmed that the late payment charges were for water fee before 1998 yet.
She said the late payment charges are for the account of City Hall, public schools, the city abattoir and other department offices.
“The amount is still unpaid but it’s being discussed as part of the negotiation in offsetting MCWD’s real property tax payments,” she told Sun.Star Cebu.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 26, 2012.