THE Manila city government’s over P200-million debt with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) left behind by the administration of then mayor Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada has now been settled.
This was announced by Mayor Isko Moreno, who said that the accomplishment is part of his self-imposed policies to bring security in the minds and hearts of the city workers and his promise upon assumption into office that he will prioritize solving the city’s sagging financial condition, among others and specially involving the welfare of the employees.
It was learned from secretary to the mayor Bernie Ang that in a letter dated March 1, 2019, the GSIS reminded the city government of former mayor Erap Estrada’s outstanding liability of P204,215,076.45. The said amount represented employee contributions that had not been remitted since Estrada took office in 2013.
Ang said that on orders of Mayor Moreno, the employees’ GSIS contributions are now up-to-date and the city’s regular personnel numbering about 8,500 may now enjoy the benefits due them, from the GSIS.
Based on records, Ang said the city government under Erap had been deducting the GSIS contributions from the salaries of the employees but these were not remitted.
An investigation is underway to find out what happened and where the money went. Ang said this may take time since no financial records were formally turned over to them by the Estrada administration.
According to Ang, no one showed up from the camp of Estrada at the agreed time, venue and date for the supposed turnover of all important records, specifically involving financial, before Moreno assumed office on June 30, 2019. If that happened as planned, Ang said the incoming Moreno administration should have been apprised of the financial condition of the city.
Owing to the situation, Ang said they were left with no choice but to reconcile the records themselves.