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Summer workers’ pay, seniors’ cash delayed

/ 07:27 PM July 25, 2011

At least 1,370 summers workers have yet to claim their honorarium more than two months since they rendered service to the Cebu city government.

Pre-audit requirements stipulated by the Commission on Audit (COA) caused the delay, said Emma Villarete of the cash disbursement section of the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO).

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“Since this is not a regular transaction, this has to pass a pre-audit,” Villarete told Cebu Daily News.

The first batch of summer workers—521 students—rendered service to the city government from April 11 to May 10. The second batch worked from May 11 to June 7.

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Villarete said since the re-implementation of pre-audit requirement, the daily time records and appointment papers of summer workers were presented to COA for review.

She said COA asked for additional documents which included their accomplishment reports.

Villarete said the CTO may release payments to the summer workers this week or next week after the review.

Financial assistance for senior citizens is also delayed by at least a month from its June 12 schedule.

“We have been strict with our requirements becayse of the results of last year’s COA post audit,” Villarete said.

“The Department of Social Welfare and Services complies in advance with the requirements COA mentioned.”

Villarete, however, assured the delays were caused not by lack of funding but by the need to comply with cash disbursement requirements.

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The Cebu City government is giving out P4,000 in cash assistance senior citizens.

This year, the city allocated at least P100 million for the purpose.

Normally, registered senior citizens get P2,000 every June 12 for their birthday gift, said Dodong Casinillo, head of the city’s Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA).

Another P2,000 is released in December as Christmas gift.

The city has 50,000 registered senior citizens aged 60 years old and up.

Casinillo said despite the delay, OSCA members understand the city’s need to cleanse their records in compliance with audit requirements.

“We have made the release of the cash. It’s okay that there’s some delay as long as we’ve become systematic,” he said.

Government auditors found multiple entries of names and ID numbers in last year’s OSCA list while cash assistance was claimed even if the beneficiaries were already dead.

Casinillo said COA and the DSWS are now reviewing records for 2009 and 2010 as part of the cleansing procedure to determine who owns the unclaimed assistance from the last two years.

“We cannot blame COA for being strict because it is their duty to safeguard government money,” he said.

Casinillo said that as agreed, notices would be posted in the barangays where claimants are located to advise them once the cash assistance is available. Doris C. Bongcac and Edison A. Delos Angles

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TAGS: Auditing, Commission On Audit (COA), honorarium
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