By Emme Rose Santiagudo
THE P17.53-million unremitted contributions of Iloilo City Hall employees to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) is a “natural and an unavoidable” problem of all accounting offices in government, according to City Accountant Michelle Lopez.
In an interview Friday, Lopez clarified that GSIS contributions for a particular month were remitted in the following month.
“For the GSIS, the deadline is usually on the tenth of the following month. If the deduction is on December, most probably the P17-million remittance was remitted in January,” Lopez told the Daily Guardian.
Lopez explained that just like the other government contributions such as Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) or Pag-ibig, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), the deadline of the contributions is set on the following month, resulting in the impression that contributions were not remitted at the end of the year.
“At the end of the year, ma appear gid na siya unremitted kay usually garemit kami 7, 8, 9 dira na ang adlaw sang remittance because wala man kami gapalapaw sa deadline because there is a violation,” Lopez said.
The 2018 annual audit report of the Commission on Audit (COA) showed that employees’ GSIS contributions at the end of fiscal year 2018 amounting to P17.53 million were not remitted due to erroneous posting in the subsidiary ledgers that resulted in over or under remittances.
There are also existing unreconciled balances amounting to over P1 million violated the provision of Republic Act 8291, or the GSIS Act of 1997.
The report also indicated that the city government incurred wrong posting in the subsidiary ledgers, which resulted in either over or under remittances of Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) premiums amounting to about P2 million with HDMF’s unreconciled balances at the end of the fiscal year 2018 totaling to P184,341.25.
But according to Lopez, such instances naturally occur in any other accounting agencies because of usual mismatch of the various accounts.
For instance, the GSIS has ten different sub-accounts for each employee which makes it unavoidable to incur errors especially when encoding the entries of the employees, Lopez added.
“Ang GSIS indi lang siya isa, damo na siya nga subaccount per employee. May tendency na every month, mamismatch and matalang kay indi mo gid na ma avoid na may matalang na kung kaisa PAGIBIG gakadto sa GSIS and ang GSIS gakadto sa iban,” she lamented.
To correct the situation, Lopez said that they have been continuously reconciling the records of the contributions since they are also required to submit a year-end report by February 14.
“That’s why at end of the year, ga-reconcile kami, dira namon ma-correct. After na sang February 14, ga-start na kami reconciliation, para kun ano ang natalang, mabalik siya sa ensakto,” she explained.
Lopez also emphasized that the city government has never incurred delay and unremitted contributions especially in the GSIS.
In fact, the city has received a certification from GSIS for promptly remitting the contributions last 2017, according to Lopez.
She also clarified that the employees will only have a hard time availing a loan in GSIS if they don’t have the required minimum amount of net pay.
Likewise, Lopez said that the GSIS contribution of a GSIS member is composed of nine percent share of the employee and 12 percent share of the employer.