Council eyes reforms at 7 public markets

THE Iloilo City Council is seriously studying the plan to institute reforms at the city’s seven public markets especially in the collection of cash tickets or daily arkabala and stall rentals and light fees.

The move came after the council heard testimonies of market collectors and market in-charge in a public hearing Thursday at the City Council session hall.

Councilor Rodel Fullon Agado, chairman of committee on markets and slaughterhouse, said they were alarmed upon knowing the loose system of collection reporting, with some collectors able to squander the collection money for personal use.

Backed up by Councilors Plaridel Nava and Love-love Baronda, the officials said they are seriously eyeing the reforms in aid of legislation so that unscrupulous personnel such as permanent employees and job hires may find it hard to get the collection money.

The councilors are more particular in the market system of lending the stub of official receipts from one collector to another, especially job hires and non-bonded personnel to collect the stall rentals and light fees, including collection of arkabala as per instruction of former Local Economic Enterprise Office (LEEO) chief Vincent de la Cruz.

Former designated terminal market in-charge Shirley Conte and even market in-charge Ely Sumaray admitted the nefarious practice of lending official receipts among LEEO personnel in the terminal market collection.

Sumaray justified the lending of official receipts since there are only five bonded personnel assigned at the terminal market, which is the biggest city market with a daily collection of some P15,000 from cash tickets and some P300,000 to P400,000 collection in monthly rentals and light fees.

Nava vowed to institute reforms so that personnel assigned at the markets will not have an opportunity to steal the collection money.

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