N. Vizcaya town's tax share withheld due to fund misuse

By Charlie Lagasca, The Philippine Star

Posted at Nov 17 2012 09:10 AM | Updated as of Nov 17 2012 05:10 PM

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya – Gov. Luisa Cuaresma has withheld the quarterly real property tax (RPT) share of Alfonso Castañeda town here due to the alleged misuse of the funds.

In a letter, Cuaresma told Alfonso Castañeda Mayor Jerry Pasigian to comply first with the order of the Commission on Audit (COA) for him to explain the alleged misuse of the town’s RPT share, which has reached P130 million.

For partly hosting the Casecnan multi-purpose irrigation and power project operated by the US firm California Energy, Alfonso Castañeda is entitled to receive RPT share. For the third quarter of the year, it is expecting to receive nearly P50 million.

Cuaresma said she cannot simply ignore the town’s apparent misuse of funds by allowing it “to further recklessly spend hard-earned taxes without at least having an idea as to how the previous taxes” have been utilized.

“I will be remiss in my duties if I will turn a blind eye to the seeming lack of care in the manner by which the municipality utilizes these taxes which we have worked long and hard to collect,” Cuaresma said in her letter to Pasigian dated Oct. 17.

Reports said the Alfonso Castañeda municipal government has yet to respond to the COA findings despite the agency’s repeated requests.

Pasigian could not be immediately reached for comment.