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Masculino to pay P1M catering debt

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN      

Outgoing Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino confirmed yesterday that he will personally pay the P1 million catering services being demanded from the Office of the Provincial Agriculture since 2018.

Admitting that it will be painful to him as he will get the payment from his retirement benefits, Masculino described it as an “ultimate solution” he offered to Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, to settle, once and for all, the problem.

Masculino, who has been in government service for 39 years, had been issued a show-cause order by the Provincial Legal Office, to explain the alleged delay in the payment of catering services by the OPA since 2018, amounting to P1 million.

While the catering was approved, it was found out later that there was a mistake in the mode of procurement, Masculino said, noting that the bidding was conducted after the catering services had been done.

Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said Tuesday that Lacson has approved the early retirement that Masculino had requested.

Masculino, 62, thanked Lacson for allowing him to serve under his administration, and said his request was an optional retirement, adding that the mandatory retirement age in government service is 65.

Problem is solved, upon payment of the catering services, he said.

Asked for a possibility of a legal action against him, Masculino said he really does not know. But he stressed that there was no damage on the part of the provincial government since no money has been released. Masculino will end his 39 years of service to the government on June 30, and his successor as OPA chief has yet to be announced by Lacson.*

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