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COA: Tagbilaran City Hall Financial Records Found Unreliable

A recent audit by the Commission on Audit (COA) has uncovered significant discrepancies in the financial records of Tagbilaran City Hall, raising concerns about the local government’s accounting practices.

The audit report, dated February 28, 2023, found that the Real Property Tax (RPT) and Special Education Tax (SET) receivables set up at the beginning of the year were based on incorrect targets, contrary to established accounting guidelines for local government units.

Key findings include:

Year-end balances of ₱16,040,751.81 for RPT and ₱7,802,724.94 for SET remained unreliable.

The City Treasurer’s certified list of taxpayers, which should form the basis for recording receivables, was not properly updated.

The City Assessor failed to provide updated submissions to the City Treasurer, forcing the City Accountant to rely on potentially outdated data.

An erroneous amount of RPT collectible for 2022 was forwarded to the City Accountant, affecting the setup of receivables.

The COA report also noted a minimal difference between the per fund receivable and the deferred income accounts, which should not occur under proper accrual accounting methods.

“It is basically important that the RPT and SET Receivables and their corresponding deferred income accounts are correctly set up at the start of the year,” the audit report stated, emphasizing the need for accurate financial records.

COA said that these discrepancies rendered the RPT and SET receivables, as well as the Deferred RPT and SET accounts, inaccurate and unreliable.

City government officials led by Mayor Jane Cesoria Cajes-Yap, wife of former City Mayor Baba Yap, have not yet commented on the audit findings. 

COA revelations may prompt calls for improved financial management and oversight in Tagbilaran City, reports said.