Bacaltos faces probe for alleged non-issuance of school receipts

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Sunday, February 23, 2014


ACTING Talisay City College (TCC) president Richel Bacaltos is facing an investigation by the Talisay City Government for his alleged failure to issue receipts to students for additional fees.

Talisay City Administrator John Yre de los Reyes said that his father, Mayor Johnny de los Reyes, tasked City Legal Officer Alfredo Sipalay to conduct the investigation.

The investigation was initiated after City Accountant Viluzminda Villarante reported the matter to the mayor and asked that an investigation be conducted against Bacaltos.

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The TCC official allegedly allowed the collection of students’ insurance, physical education (PE) uniforms and computer fee but no receipts were reportedly issued to the students.

He allegedly allowed such practice despite the Commission on Audit’s earlier findings that called the attention of the school for collecting different school fees without issuing the required and appropriate official receipts.

In an interview, Villarante said that some students have been complaining of the additional fees imposed by the school.

The students reportedly complained that aside from their enrollment fees, they were also made to pay P40 for insurance coverage, P60 for computer fee and P500 for their PE uniform.

Villarante said she verified the complaints and found out that the school had only issued receipts for enrollment fees but not for the additional fees.

Villarante said she asked the mayor to conduct the investigation considering that TCC currently has more than 2,000 students.

While he admitted to not consulting the college’s board of trustees about it, Bacaltos said that the collection of additional fees was legal and was based on the need of the students.

Bacaltos said whenever he plans to present the fees the members of the board of trustees fail to convene.

It was only in December 2013 that the board convened, but Bacaltos said he failed to present the matter.

Bacaltos said he has supporting documents to prove that the fees they are collecting are legal.

Bacaltos told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday that the insurance fees they were collecting were requested by the parents of the students. The college has hired Pioneer Intercontinental Insurance Corp. as its service provider.

As to the computer fee, Bacaltos said it was the initiative of the college’s Supreme Student Council (SSC) to buy 40 units of computers as some of their old units were already outdated.

Through the initiative of the SSC, Bacaltos said TCC was able to buy the computer units, each valued at P12,400. Bacaltos, though, admitted that the purchase of the computer units did not undergo a bidding process because it was urgent.

As to the PE uniforms, he pointed out that it was the sole initiative of the students for identification purposes and the fees were not collected by the college.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 24, 2014.

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