Lax city market control leaves millions in uncollected rentals in Gapan
by Allan Yves Briones
The lenient implementation of market rules and regulations has deprived the city government of Gapan, Nueva Ecija of additional revenue totaling P20.6 million from uncollected market rentals.
“Under such situation, the City Government will continuously be deprived of the resources, which could have been utilized by the agency, for other significant projects,” the Commission on Audit (COA) stated in its audit report.
In 2008, Gapan entered into a 15-year loan with the Philippine National Bank for P207.62 million in order to renovate its 768-stall public market.
Source: 2018 Annual Audit Report on the City of Gapan
However, state auditors found that despite the outstanding loan, the city government has failed to collect on rental fees which could’ve gone into repayment.
Prior years’ collection efficiency rate has averaged out at 37.49%, dropping to 31.29% in 2017, with a slight increase in the previous year.
“This is attributable to the management’s lack of initiative to collect and poor record keeping of Market Stall Occupant Ledgers that should have been the basis for demanding payments,” COA said.
State auditors also reminded the city government of the provisions of the contract it entered into with the stall holders, particularly Item No. 10 which calls for the cancellation of the lease upon failure to pay.
The city treasurer, as stated in the report, said that demand letters are being prepared.
COA advised Gapan officials to strictly enforce the provisions of the lease agreements in order to prevent the recurrence of the problem in the future.
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