April 18, 2024

Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong has appealed to market vendors for cooperation in the ongoing investigations on anomalies involving market fees.

In a letter dated July 20, Magalong asked merchants to submit copies of official receipts (OR) for their arrival fees or kwartais covering the period January 2020 to present.

“Your cooperation is needed to ferret out the truth in this ongoing investigation. If proven true, this practice of anomalous filling out of accountable forms 51 by revenue collectors had been depriving the city government of the collection of lawful fees that could have been used for public service,” the mayor said.

He said the OR from the vendors will enable the city government to compare the original with the duplicate or triplicate copies and establish the integrity of amounts collected.

The OR copies may be submitted to the Baguio City Police Office with the assurance that any information gathered from the vendors will be treated with confidentiality.

The mayor said investigations had so far revealed the employees manipulated the amounts reflected in the duplicate and triplicate copies of the receipts being submitted to the City Treasury Office to make it appear they collected lower fees than the actual amount collected that is reflected in the original OR.  The excess amounts had not been remitted to the city coffers.

As a result of the investigation, a total of seven personnel of the Market Division under the CTO have so far been charged of malversation through falsification of public documents and falsification.

The mayor said more cases are expected to be filed as investigations continue in the coming days. – Aileen P. Refuerzo