ON APRIL, 14, 2014, the Porac local government issued a check for P46,000 to Councilor Michael Tapang as cash advance for registration fees to a seminar in Iloilo City he was to attend along with four other councilors.
A disbursement voucher showed that Tapang did indeed receive the check and encashed it.
Failing to liquidate the cash advance past the allotted time, and indeed beyond the closing of the municipal book of accounts for 2014, two demand letters – from the municipal accountant and the OIC municipal treasurer – were sent to Tapang.
Still, no liquidation. This prompted the Porac LGU to investigate.
A certification from the Association of Local Social Welfare and Development Officers of the Philippines which conducted the seminar, signed by its national president Arsenio Alagenio, said Tapang, along with Councilors Rafael M. Canlapan, Remberto Lapid, Regin B. Clarete and Ronnie A. Gamboa “have not paid their registration fees but appeared in the forum.”
This, even as it also attested that Jhoanne M. Arcega, municipal social welfare and development officer, “fully participated” in the seminar held on April 22- 25, 2014.
Tapang is known in the Angeles City-Clark casino circuit as a “high roller.” With that lofty stature, P46,000 is loose change for him, “chicken feed” or “peanuts” as the moneyed would call it.
Tapang’s continuing failure then to liquidate such a “measly sum” in public funds is impacting – negatively – on his character. Especially as Tapang has made known his ambition to run for mayor next year.
Not to mention the legal liability obtaining in that failure. Theft? Estafa? Abuse of authority?
Whatever. Taking on the bible verse quoted above, Porac citizens have started asking: “If Tapang cannot handle so little as a cash advance for seminar fees, how can he be trusted to handle tens of millions in the town coffers?”