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Council probe into pension funds looms

By LITO RULONA
Correspondent

THE city council’s social services committee said would be looking into a report that city hall has stopped giving pensions to impoverished senior citizens because it has yet to liquidate the funds it received from the national government.

Councilor Reuben Daba, the committee’s chairman, said the panel would summon City Social Welfare and Development Office head Teodoro Sabugaa so he could shed light on the matter that was raised by Councilor Nadya Elipe on Monday.

Elipe told the city council the unliquidated funds intended for the pensions amount to some P2.8 million, and a number of beneficiaries have started complaining after they failed to receive anything from the city hall at the start of the third quarter.

The funds for the pensions came from the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The CSWD has been tasked to identify indigent senior citizens who would then receive P1,500 each quarter or P6 thousand a year.

Elipe said she learned of the complaints last week through the office of Councilor Leon Gan.

She said she looked into the problem and found that that the reason was city hall’s failure to liquidate the funds it received from the DSWD.

A group of senior citizens wrote to Mayor Oscar Moreno and the city council on Sept. 15, 2017 to ask about their pensions — P330 thousand in 2016 and P2.5 million of the P9.7 million released during the 1st and 2nd quarters of this year.

Despite the unliquidated funds in 2016, DSWD released more this year. But due to the failure of city hall to liquidate the funds, the DSWD opted to temporarily stop the releases, according to Elipe.

She said the DSWD has sent notices to city hall, and informed it that the budget would be put on hold starting this quarter until it liquidates the funds it already received.

“DSWD-10 is saddened over the non-compliance of the city government. They are also sending demand letters for immediate compliance. DSWD-10 is even asking the help of city councilors,” Elipe said.

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About Lito Rulona

Lito Rulona is a veteran newspaperman and broadcaster who covered many of the biggest stories in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental and Northern Mindanao since the early 90s.

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