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Cebu News

Only P635T lost in Toledo burglary

Michael Vencynth H. Braga/FPL - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The treasurer of Toledo City yesterday clarified that only P635,000 was taken during the burglary incident at the City Treasurer's Office and not P1 million as earlier reported.

City treasurer Ofelia Oliva said P6 Million was withdrawn by the office on September 6, Thursday. Of the amount, around P3 Million was set aside for the salaries of teachers covering the period from January to June this year while the other P3 million was intended for the wages for casual employees, cash advances for travel, among others. Most of the amount was immediately disbursed and was only left with P635,000.

"Of course the teachers were not allowed to go out before 5 p.m., so we had to wait 'till 5 o'clock and until the teachers are fully paid…There are payrolls and vouchers that would back up the correctness of the amount," said Oliva.

She added the remaining amount was just kept at the steel vault since it could no longer be returned to the bank.

"I keep on telling them (collectors, paymasters, cashier), about the basic rule in collections that collections must be deposited intact daily to the bank. But when it comes to disbursement, we cannot prohibit them from leaving the excess cash payment in the vault," she said.

Following the town burglaries, Oliva said she even convened the collectors and cashiers to remind them of the policy in depositing collections. A memorandum was also sent to them on September 3 regarding the rule on daily deposits of the cash-on-hand.

The following day, another memo was also sent to the disbursing officers to observe the cutoff time for disbursement from Mondays to Fridays and that there will be no releasing of cash and disbursement transaction after 4 p.m. of every working day to warrant the deposit of all cash to the designated government banks.

Oliva said this measure was intended to ensure the safekeeping of the monies collected and protect the officers from liabilities. But on September 7, Sunday evening, burglars were able to penetrate inside the treasurer's office, taking away the amount kept in the vault.

Oliva said had there been police visibility in the area, the burglary could have been prevented.

"But after that, on Saturday and Sunday, no police assigned. Since I assumed office, I have been requesting police presence inside that garden, near the treasurer's office, because it's dark and only (personnel of the) Civil Security Units are assigned to that building, no guns. I exhausted all remedies to safeguard the funds and the properties of Toledo City," she said, as she asked for police presence in the area.

She admitted there were still some officers, cashiers, and collectors who failed to adhere to the policy on collections. Oliva appeared before the Provincial Board yesterday upon the invitation of the body to shed light on the recent burglary in the city treasurer's office. Also invited was Cebu Treasurer's Association President Palma E. Batobalonos and Capitol's acting treasurer Emmanuel Guial.

Vice Governor  Agnes Magpale recommended re-orientation of the treasurer's manual.

"We will introduce revisions about ani. Because we have learned our lessons," Oliva said. (FREEMAN)

 

AGNES MAGPALE

ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT PALMA E

BATOBALONOS AND CAPITOL

CEBU TREASURER

CITY TREASURER

CIVIL SECURITY UNITS

EMMANUEL GUIAL

OFELIA OLIVA

TOLEDO CITY

TREASURER

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