Mayor Benjamin Magalong appealed to market vendors for cooperation in the ongoing investigations on anomalies involving market fees.
In a letter dated July 20, 2022, the mayor asked merchants to come forward and submit available copies of official receipts for their arrival fees or “kwartais” covering the period January 2020 to present.
“Your cooperation is very much needed to ferret out the truth in this ongoing investigation. If proven true, this practice of anomalous filling-out of Accountable Forms (AF) 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 ORs 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.
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 that the employees manipulated the amounts reflected in the duplicate and triplicate copies of the receipts being submitted to the city treasury to make it appear that 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 City Treasury Office 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.