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IOUs are personal, not a condition for RPT share

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita November 28,2016 - 11:22 PM

Arlene Rentuza, Cebu City accountant.

Arlene Rentuza, Cebu City accountant.

Executing promissory notes by barangay officials for their incentives disallowed by the Commission on Audit is an undertaking for their personal obligations, and not as representative of the barangay.

Cebu City Accountant Arlene Rentuza clarified there was never any condition set by the Accounting Office for releasing the barangay’s Certification of Real Property Tax share from the city government.

The Certification is among the documents needed to prove fund sources and is among the bases for the barangay budget next year.

The clarification came following an opinion by the Department of Interior and Local Government regional office (DILG-7), ordering the city government to release the barangay’s share of taxes without any conditions.

“They have it mixed up. We don’t have any policy stating any condition before our office will issue a certified statement of income to the barangays,” she told reporters yesterday.

She said her office has been releasing certified statements of the RPT shares of the barangays which they need in the preparation of their respective barangays annual budget for next year.

When barangay officials come to her office to ask for the statements, she said she would also use the opportunity to remind them of their obligation on the disallowance and suggest that they issue promissory notes if they are not able to pay up front.

The promissory notes that were executed by some barangay officials had to be made since they are the subjects of the disallowed barangay incentives last year.

But only a few of those who issued promissory notes agreed to having their salaries deducted in order to pay back the incentives they received, according to Rentuza.

Most of them only executed the promissory note to point out that the COA disallowance is still under appeal by the city with the COA regional director.

“We also need these promissory notes so that we can show that we’ve done something when the COA also asks us on our actions on the disallowances that they have issued,” Rentuza said.

Sought for comment, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said that there should be no reason for the city to withhold the release of the RPT shares of the barangays as well as the certification of their expected shares for next year.

But he said since the barangay officials have a disallowance from COA, it is also the city’s responsibility to “protect its assets” and make sure that it gets back the disallowed disbursement.

Last week, the city council received a DILG opinion penned by regional director Rene Burdeos stating that under the Local Government Code, the city is obligated to release the RPT share of the barangays without any conditions.



The opinion was rendered after Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella referred complaints from some barangays that the accounting office was withholding the RPT shares of the barangays as well as the certification of their expected share unless they execute promissory notes covering the barangay incentives they received last year which was disallowed by COA.
Labella brought up the matter to the attention of Rentuza last month.

Yesterday, Rentuza showed reporters a copy of her letter-reply to Labella, wherein she pointed out that there were no problems regarding the release of the RPT share and certification and that the promissory notes were a separate and personal concern.

“The promissory note is an individual and personal undertaking and not a representative act in behalf of the barangay. It has been misconstrued that it is a requirement on the signing by the Accountant of the Barangay Certified Statement of Income (CSI),” she said in her letter dated November 4.

She also said there is no policy or instruction from her regarding the non-release of the RPT share and certification.

Rentuza also explained yesterday that it is a standard accounting procedure to ask officials, including those from the barangays, to settle their obligations or accountabilities from the city.

They can do so by paying their obligation in full up front, or issuing a promissory note or undertaking or a manifestation stating the reasons why they were holding their payment in abeyance.

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TAGS: Cebu City, COA, Commission on Audit, Department of Interior and Local Government, DILG, DILG-7, personal

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