THE Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) finished yesterday its two-day cash audit of the Cebu City Treasurer’s Office (CTO).
Their evaluation showed that the City Government’s cash position is around P8.48 billion, a finding which Acting Treasurer Diwa Cuevas said will hopefully settle the issue that the City is in a financial mess or is bankrupt.
“They had doubts that the daily cash report submitted to them would not reconcile with the bank and cash balances. That the figures would be bloated. Now, it is proven that the money is there,” Cuevas said in Cebuano.
The cash position of the City (as of May 17, the latest record CTO has) was submitted to the office of Acting Mayor Margarita Osmeña yesterday. BLGF held an exit conference with Osmeña around noon.
The cash position report was signed by Cuevas, CTO Division Chief Agapita Cesa and BLGF Financial Analyst III Ma Belinda Ormega.
Osmeña, who asked BLGF to conduct the cash audit, confirmed that BLGF had an exit conference with her.
“That was only superficial kay diba (because) I only asked them to audit the daily cash balance. I am happy that it (records) reconciled,” she told Sun.Star Cebu last night.
Based on the cash position report, the City has more than P2.7 billion for its general fund proper that already includes the P18.9 million that the City raised during its “Piso Mo, Hospital Ko” fund-raising campaign for the construction of the new Cebu City Medical Center.
The City also has P402.9 million for special accounts that includes P341.8 million for the Local Development Fund, which pays for projects and programs under the Annual Investment Plan.
The report also states that the City has P164.8 million in trust funds, including P86 million for the calamity fund and P15.8 million from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Asked about the pork barrel money, Cuevas said it has been there in the City’s accounts.
“It has not been used. We cannot touch the money because of issues regarding the pork barrel. The Supreme Court (SC) had even said the money should be returned),” she said in Cebuano.
COA cash count
Cuevas was referring to the SC’s decision declaring the PDAF as unconstitutional and its order to revert the money back to the national treasury.
Aside from this, the cash position report states that the City has P5.1 billion in time deposits.
These include the more than P4.3 billion out of the P8.35-billion down payment from the sale of the 45.2-hectare lot at the South Road Properties last year.
Cuevas said a portion of the P8.35-billion down payment was already used to fund the City’s P13.4-annual budget last year.
The budget ordinance authorized the use of P4.5-billion from the sale of the SRP lots to fund infrastructure projects.
Also placed in a time deposit is the P42.7 million from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).
Cuevas explained that placing the City’s share from the operations of Pagcor in a time deposit has been a practice even before she became the city treasurer.
She said the monthly share of the City is not used immediately because request for funding, especially those from the barangays, takes time to be processed.
Every month, the City receives P4 million from Pagcor for allowing them to operate casinos in the city.
As BLGF finishes its scrutiny of CTO’s affairs, Osmeña said she is still waiting for the result of the Commission on Audit’s cash count, which started last Friday. Osmeña doesn’t know yet when this will finish.
The acting mayor had questioned some disbursements and transactions, such as the cash advance made on the burial assistance program, discretionary funds that are unaccounted for and millions of pesos in cash advances, among others.