City Hall reviews tax records of scholar’s schools
CITY Hall’s scholarship committee wants to make sure that schools where its scholars are enrolled are diligent taxpayers.
Until the committee finishes its review, the P61 million the city owes the Asian College of Technology owned by City Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa will have to wait.
Scholarship committee chairperson Councilor Jose Daluz said ACT has 5,000 of the 7,000 city scholars for school year 2010-2011.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, meanwhile, said yesterday that politics has nothing to do with the delays in the release of payments to the Asian College of Technology (ACT).
Abellanosa, an ally of Rep. Tomas Osmeña is touted to run against former congressman Antonio Cuenco, Rama’s ally in the south district.
Rama said he trusts the judgment of the city scholarship committee in checking ACT’s tax records prior to the release of payment.
The mayor said he doesn’t want to intervene and allowed the city accounting and treasurers office to do their work.
“Naa may department nga nag order ana (delays in the release of payment)… Let them perform their job. I presume that they know their job,” he said.
Daluz said that among the things investigated by City Treasurer Ofelia Oliva and consultant Ester Cubero is whether all the scholars enrolled in ACT are in its campus in Cebu City.
They are verifying reports he said, that some scholars are shared with the Bulacao campus which pays taxes to Talisay City.
Also, Daluz said the scholarship committee which he chairs also wanted to be clarified of the recent change in ACT’s name from ACT Inc. to ACT Foundation.
Daluz said schools as owned by foundation benefit from tax credits.
Under its scholarship program, the city government gives P10,000 in financial assistance to scholars enrolled in 21 accredited colleges and universities.
Members of the city scholarship committee agreed during an earlier meeting to review the compliance of accredited schools to scholarship requirements. These include the availability of qualified instructors, sufficient school facilities and review of tax-payment records.
Daluz said that if they find deficiencies in their tax payment records, this will have to be offset from payments due from the city government.
Daluz admitted that delays in the submission of billing from the 21 accredited colleges and universities also delayed processing of their payment by the accounting and treasurer’s offices.
Like Rama, Daluz said they are not singling out ACT.
“ In fact we are helping ACT (in the process) because its owner is one of the city councilors. This is part of transparency, said Daluz./With reports from Correspondent Edison A. delos Angeles