Lim borrows treasurer of Quezon City

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — MANILA Mayor Alfredo Lim has tapped one of the country’s top tax collectors, Quezon City Treasurer Victor Endriga, as officer in charge of his Treasurer’s Office to fill up his depleted collection box.

“Getting Endriga to serve as our wealth manager is a fruitful approach at infusing lifeblood into a city dying from cash flow hemorrhage… because of the harmful practices of the past administration,” Lim said in a statement.

He said Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte had granted his request that Endriga be assigned to Manila in a concurrent capacity—provided that Endriga served only for three months without extension.

Lim said he assumed his post as Manila’s new mayor saddled with problems including claims for payment on past-due accounts, P2 billion in bank loans, and a refund of taxes that the Supreme Court had recently declared illegal.

Endriga described Manila’s problems as “not new or unique,” citing the same problems that haunted Quezon City when Belmonte took over.

“The superficialities may differ but the essence remains the same,” he said.

Endriga was the same man who balanced Quezon City’s budget before Belmonte’s first year in office ended. He then transformed the country’s most economically depressed city into one of its richest.

Endriga said his priority in Manila would be scrutinizing expenditures, and in particular the so-called midnight contracts that former Mayor Lito Atienza had signed during his last days in office.

“Cost-saving measures and wise spending patterns [will be pursued], plus tax collection efficiency and public accountability that ensures that every centavo collected ends up in the city coffers,” he said.