Exchange of Words Between Mayor Uy and Former Mayor Moreno Over XU Debt Dispute

Mayor Uy and Moreno Over Debt Dispute
Mayor Uy and Moreno Over Debt Dispute

CAGAYAN de Oro City – Mayor Rolando Uy of Cagayan de Oro City and his predecessor, lawyer Oscar Moreno, engaged in a heated exchange regarding the city government’s fiscal status. The dispute arose after Xavier University billed City Hall on January 3 for the use of its facilities at the Manresa complex in upper Carmen as isolation units and temporary holding dormitories for individuals and families affected by the Covid-19 crisis between March 2020 and April 2022.

According to a report by Mindanao Daily News, the letter, signed by Xavier University’s facilities manager, Haide May de Castro, indicated that the city government accrued a total of P7,805,365 in payables during the stay of Covid-19 patients at the university’s facilities. (It was the Moreno administration, through PhilHealth, that covered the accommodation costs for these patients.)

Mayor Uy’s Press Conference

Mayor Uy, in a press conference, expressed his desire to settle the matter before the start of the 2024-2025 school year, citing the many city-sponsored scholars enrolled at the university. There are currently 8,845 tertiary students sponsored by the city at Xavier University.

Pressed on the issue, former Mayor Moreno asserted that Mayor Uy misunderstands the principle of the city government’s continuity as an entity. Which continues uninterrupted despite changes in leadership.

“The life of a city doesn’t end with the mayor. The life of a city continues uninterrupted, and whoever sits as the new mayor is responsible for both the assets and liabilities inherited by the city at the time,” said the former mayor.

Receivables and Debt

During his January 15 press conference, Mayor Uy provided documents outlining the city’s assets and liabilities as of June 2022, just before he assumed office. According to the list, the city had total assets of P9,639,442,043.67 and total liabilities of P2,973,984,666.53 at that time.

However, Mayor Uy emphasized that the city had only P356,358,151 in cash by the end of 2022 to work with, compared to the P2 billion in debt.

In response, Moreno noted that Mayor Uy failed to highlight other items in the assets column, such as receivables. He disclosed that the city government still has P30 million in receivables from PhilHealth due to the use of hotels and accommodation facilities during the Covid-19 pandemic. Facilities accredited by the government-run insurance agency.

“I can only hope that the Klarex Uy administration had pursued these claims, again pursuant to the principle of continuity,” Moreno remarked, using the incumbent mayor’s nickname.

Mayor Uy Calls on Suppliers

Mayor Uy urged all hospitality suppliers that provided services to City Hall during the pandemic to come forward and bill the city government. It is similar to what Xavier University had done. Moreno acknowledged that, apart from Xavier University, more than 40 accommodation facilities were use by the city government during the pandemic.

During his presentation, Mayor Uy stated that City Hall had already paid a total of P936,021,457.58 to suppliers who were owed since 2020 as of December last year. This amount excludes payables for infrastructure projects.

The debt dispute over financial matters continues as Mayor Uy and Moreno present their perspectives on the city’s fiscal situation. Further developments are anticipate as the matter unfolds.

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