Cebu City is not bankrupt: Rama to Margot

IS CEBU City bankrupt?

Suspended and outgoing Mayor Michael Rama denied the pronouncement of acting Mayor Margarita Osmeña that the City Government has no money.

In the recent cash audit conducted by the Commission on Audit (COA), some funds shelled out for expenses like burial assistance, intelligence and discretionary fund for the Office of the Mayor could not be accounted.

Rama said the matter is unfair to them, considering they have yet to explain their side on the matter.

“It’s the most unfair (statement) coming from them. Why is she saying that? Has she become the Commission on Audit already? And they’re not giving us an opportunity to present our side?,” he said when sought for comment.

Daily cash report

Rama said he doesn’t believe the City is struggling financially because it has money.

Osmeña earlier revealed that the daily cash report released by the City Treasurer’s Office showed that the City had more or less P8.3 billion as of May 5.

This already included the P8.3-billion proceeds from the sale of South Road Properties (SRP) lots to two developers.

She also learned that the City only has P7.6 billion under its General Fund, including the sale of the SRP lots, which was also stated in her committee report under the committee on budget and finance before she sat down as acting mayor.

“The committee would like to find out why the balance in the books is not more than the amount the Cebu City Government received from the sale of (SRP) lots. In fact, it’s very clear to be below the amount of the down payment,” read a portion of the committee report.

Transition teams

Rama insisted that City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas knows what’s happening to the City’s financial status.

“Are they coming in as an audit team? I think the best who could answer this is the city treasurer. I don’t handle money during my time,” he said.

Cuevas only updated him on what was going on with the money in the City’s coffers, he said.

Rama said he is willing to answer the issue during the press conference he will hold tomorrow.

Mao na ilang gusto (That’s what they want). Let’s have their cake. Let’s give them the cake and have it,” Rama added.

Despite being suspended, Rama said he already formed a transition team, headed by his executive secretary Belinda Navasquez.

Osmeña, too, had formed her transition team, which will coordinate with her husband, mayor-elect Tomas’s team when he assumes office at noon on June 30.

Last Friday, COA conducted a surprise cash audit in City Hall to check the City’s financial status on Osmeña’s request as part of preparations for her husband’s administration.
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