By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
SORSOGON CITY (BicolToday.com/3-Dec-2012)- This time, investors of the Sorsogon Public School Teachers and Employees Cooperative Inc.(SPSTEC, Inc.) finds an ally in 3- termer Board Member Arnulfo Perete who will introduce a resolution at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan this Monday to request the present officials of the cooperative to shed light on its financial liquidity.
The move of Perete was prompted because of the public clamor particularly those of the coop’s investors who fear of mismanagement and liquidity problems for the present coop officers are hard-up in paying the monthly return of investments.
That issue is, but one of the many that should be answered by the cooperative, said Perete, aside from the explanation about the manner of expenditures of the 2 million pesos given by the Provincial Government of Sorsogon as seed capital way back in 1995. When the province handed the 2 million pesos to the cooperative, it was expected that disbursement and its use will be for expansion and capital expenditures, so as to attract investors. Until today, nothing was never heard of, the board member lawyer said.
A story of November 25, 2012 here at BicolToday, the cooperative was drag into a mess because of the allegations made against Nydia Bercasio, the Human Resource Officer of DepEd Division of Sorsogon who is the current Chairman and General Manager of the SPSTEC,Inc., that she has an unexplained wealth, that she received two checks totaling 750 thousand pesos from the coop though her name did not appear as an investor per records. The former general manager Mauricio Gabani filed a complaint against Bercasio at the Office of the Ombudsman for violations of R.A. 6713, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standard of Public Officials and Employees.
Unconfirmed reports alleged that around 190 million pesos is the invested amount in the cooperative. The amount of money re-loaned to members and its accruing interest of 5 percent is more than sufficient to pay the monthly return of investment to its member- investors.
When the liquidity problem arises, the coop management reduced the monthly return of investment for investors to 1 percent from the previous 2.5 percent, inspite of the reduced rate, the coop failed to release the monthly interest to their investors.
“What is more discouraging is the delay in the payment of the accruing interest” said one of the investor who sink in 3 million pesos from his retirement benefits to the cooperative. Another investor who invested 2.3 million pesos out of his disability retirement since March this year, was caught in the web of uncertainties for it did not received a cent as return of investment from the cooperative, until now. Both would rather leave the matter for the court to decide.
“This issue has now become a public interest, we should protect these investors, most of them government retirees, who honestly believe of the sound fiscal policy when they entrusted their hard-earned retirement money to the cooperative, but, as complaint mounts, it is saddening that they could be victims of mismanagement and fiscal absurdity”, opined Atty. Perete. [BicolToday.com]
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