Delays in GSIS, PAGIBIG remittances spark row in state university

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/5 Aug) – Delays in the remittance of Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Pag-IBIG contributions have sparked a row at the University of Southern Mindanao in the municipality of Kabacan and in its annex school in this city.

Dr. Jesus Derije, USM president, is set to submit to the Ombudsman in Mindanao the findings of the Commission on Audit on the delays in the remittances of contributions and loan re-payments of the faculty and staff.

As it turned out, the money, amounting to some P6 million, was supposedly used to cover the salaries and wages of more than 400 “job order” employees of both the main campus and the annex school.

Dr. Gil Garcia, newly-appointed director of the university’s finance and management services, said the delay in the payment of wages of job order employees was caused by the delay in the release of a portion of the funds allotted for the USM by Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

“Because a portion of our budget was not released on time by the DBM, we looked for other sources to pay the salaries of our job order employees. We had a remedial measure. But early this year, we already paid it,” Garcia said during a press briefing last Tuesday.

Derije said that the COA reports would be the basis in filing appropriate charges against those personnel responsible for the delay.

He initiated the holding of a press briefing to clarify matters because the delay has reportedly caused problems to some members of the faculty and staff.

Some of the teachers were not able to renew their loans because of the failure to submit on time their contributions and repayments.

Reports said there was delay in the remittances of premiums for the GSIS and PAG-IBIG and loan repayments for One Network Bank and Rural Development Bank, and fees for the Faculty Association, of some 85 regular teachers of the USM at the Kidapawan City Campus (USM-KCC) last December 2009.

Also, the faculty and staff of the USM main campus in Kabacan were deducted of their premiums and loan payments but were allegedly not remitted on time.

Because of the delays, the university reportedly had to pay a penalty of P67,000.

Although the delays were caused by remedial measures the university had to take due to the delay in the release of part of the budget by the DBM, the university’s board of regents nevertheless passed a resolution urging Derije to demand written explanation from the personnel involved as to what caused the delay and why they resorted to using the contributions and repayments deducted from the teachers’ salaries to cover unpaid wages of the job order employees.

The faculty and staff at the USM-Kidapawan City Campus has also urged COA to investigate further the alleged malversation of funds.

“That constitutes juggling of funds, technical malversation, a graft case. Whoever is responsible for it should be held liable. Something was no right from the very start,” said Dr. Cely Puruganan, president of the USM-KCC College of Industry and Technology Personnel Association.

Some of the employees reportedly had to pay their arrears in order to have their loan restructured. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)