Mayor Estrada: P235M, not P1.5B, left in city coffers | Inquirer News
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Mayor Estrada: P235M, not P1.5B, left in city coffers

By: - Reporter / @erikaINQ
/ 02:29 AM August 14, 2013

“[The] document is the best evidence,” Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said the Monday as he belied a former city official’s claim that the previous administration had left P1.5 billion in the city’s coffers.

Ric de Guzman, the chief of staff of former city Mayor Alfredo Lim, earlier said that contrary to Estrada’s statements, Manila was not bankrupt.

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Based on a consolidated daily cash position report as of June 28, the city government had a fund of P1.5 billion, he stressed. Estrada and the other newly elected officials took over the city on June 30.

City treasurer Liberty Toledo, however, said that the P1.5 billion De Guzman was referring to represented the total sum of the city’s general fund, special education fund and other trust funds.

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According to her, only the general fund amounting to P235 million can be appropriated by the city government for its operations.

Toledo also pointed out that the previous administration had approved vouchers amounting to P446 million, which the city has yet to pay.

After he was sworn in as mayor, Estrada said that he was left with a debt of P3.5 billion—a figure he based on a Commission on Audit (COA) report—and around P200 million in city funds.

De Guzman, meanwhile, questioned the COA report, saying it was based on the wrong premise. “Common sense dictates that estimated income is very different from actual income. So you cannot consider as debt the difference between the P9 billion estimated income and the P6 billion that was actually collected,” he said.

According to Estrada, city records showed that when then Mayor Lito Atienza left office in 2007, he turned over to Lim a general fund of P1.3 billion. When it was Lim’s turn to leave his post, he left in the city’s coffers a general fund of just P235 million. “And yet, I also inherited a huge Meralco debt,” Estrada added.

De Guzman, however, said that of the P600 million the city owes the power company, only P200 million remained unpaid.

But this was disputed by Toledo who said that as of June 30, the city’s unpaid electrical bill totaled P485 million.

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TAGS: debts, Finance, Joseph Estrada, Manila
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