Filomeno Anciano, the veteran town treasurer, Camotes Island, Cebu

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - August 23, 2015 - 10:00am

The position of treasurer of a local government unit is a career position, a very important and respected office. In fact, the City of Cebu has had treasurers who were appointed as mayor of Cebu like Alfredo Jacinto (the first city mayor of Cebu) and Pedro Elizalde.

In Cebu, there was one who for four decades was municipal treasurer in several local government units. The name of the veteran public servant was Filomeno Anciano. He started as a temporary clerk in the Office of the Municipal Treasurer of Catarman, Misamis in August 6, 1917.

Anciano was then appointed as Acting Principal Clerk in the Office of the Municipal Treasurer of Bogo, Cebu from June 16, 1919. On July 24, 1920 Anciano was appointed municipal treasurer and postmaster of Tudela, Cebu.

On March 1, 1924, Treasurer Anciano's position was made permanent (municipal treasurer and postmaster of Tudela, Cebu). On March 8, 1930 Anciano was transferred to another town. He was appointed municipal treasurer and postmaster of Poro, Cebu.

After World War II, Anciano was appointed municipal treasurer of San Francisco, Cebu on August 16, 1947. Two years later, Anciano was transferred to the municipality of Tudela as municipal treasurer.

Anciano on February 28, 1949 was appointed as municipal treasurer and postmaster of Poro, Cebu. Then on January 11, 1953 he held the concurrent position as municipal treasurer of Poro, Cebu at the same time ex officio deputy provincial treasurer with respect to the collection of revenues pursuant to Section 2208 of the Revised Administrative Code.

Decades before World War II, Treasurer Anciano applied for the benefits of Act 2859, as amended, otherwise known as the Osmena Retirement Law. He filed his application on May 6, 1928. His application was acknowledged on June 7, 1928 by the Office of the Governor General (the Philippines was governed by a governor general who was appointed by the President of the United States of America from 1899 up to 1935, when we elected our first president, Manuel L. Quezon).

Incidentally, on November 15, 1936 Commonwealth Act 186, more commonly known as the Government Service Insurance Act, was approved. Pursuant to the new law, the province of Cebu automatically became a member of the Government Service Insurance System. The municipality of Poro (of which Anciano was employed) did not however become a member as the law only requires first class municipalities as mandatory members. As deputy provincial treasurer and postmaster, Anciano paid retirement premiums to the GSIS, while the province of Cebu as its employer paid its counterpart. Anciano however as municipal treasurer did not remit any premiums to the GSIS as his salary was exempt from deduction as municipalities were not members of the GSIS.

Treasurer Anciano retired in 1958 and was then granted retirement insurance benefits by the GSIS for his position as deputy provincial treasurer, but the GSIS disapproved his benefits as municipal treasurer. On July 27, 1962 Anciano filed with the Court of First Instance of Cebu for Mandamus and Damages against Poro, Cebu as his gratuity benefits were refused even if the provincial treasurer has ruled that it is the municipality that has the statutory obligation to pay his compensation. Anciano lost his case before the Court of First Instance and before the Supreme Court.

The officials of Poro, Cebu in 1965, who were also the defendants of the case filed by Anciano, were Moises G. Otadoy, Teofilo G. Otadoy, vice mayor, Venancio Sotto, municipal secretary, Jose Manulat, judge, Felipe Cagigas, treasurer, Flaviano Lias, chief of police, and Dr. Edilberto C. Olitres, health officer. The councilors were Lino Culangco, Antonio Cabales, Prima de Culangco, Teofilo Miranda, Vidal Suarez and Dionisio O. Yap.




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