Bulacan State U told: Sue Chevron over unpaid rent


    THE Commission on Audit has recommended that the legal department of the Bulacan State University initiate legal actions against Chevron Philippines Inc. and Graceland 23, Inc. to collect alleged unpaid rent.

    The recommendation also covered former students who failed to pay loans after graduating.

    Government auditors submitted the recommendation in the 2019 report received by the office of BulSU president Cecilia Gascon last June 7, 2020.

    In the report, the audit team said the uncollected rents and student loans contributed in causing the state university’s uncollected receivables to balloon to P209.3 million as of December 31, 2019.

    Based on the audit report uncollected tuition amounted to P68.278 million dating back to 2007 with P38 million incurred from 2007 to 2014; P10.52 million in 2015; and P11.04 million in 2019.

    This amount is on top of unsettled loans under the Student Financial Assistance Program (STUFAP) totaling P2.284 million.

    “We noted that no action has been made by the university officials concerned to collect these receivables,” the audit team said.

    The audit report likewise listed the P54.15 million uncollected rentals from Graceland 23, Inc. which rented a portion of BulSU’s campus at the monthly rate of P625,248.75.

    Auditors noted that there has been an uncollected balance of P30.218 million from 2018 which increased to P54.15 million as of yearend 2019, including interests and penalties.

    They pointed out that the university’s Board of Regents chaired by the Secretary of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has already approved a payment scheme allowing a three-year period for Graceland to settle its obligations but the arrangement was not enforced.

    “The non-collection for rental from Graceland 23, Inc. deprived BulSU of additional funds for its development projects,” the COA said.

    In the case of Chevron Philippine, the audit team said the contract between BulSU and the oil company allowed the latter to run a convenience store and “other allied businesses” on the leased property.

    “However, it was observed that there are four establishments who are sub-leasing from the Chevron Philippines and these are 7-11, Figaro Coffee, Kuhku Care and Spa and XXX Travel Agency,” auditors pointed out.

    They noted that the 7-11 store is owned by Philippine Seven Corp. while Figaro belongs to Figaro Coffee Corp.

    “Chevron Philippines was asked to show proofs that these were its allied businesses but until now no proofs have been submitted. Also, there is no provision in the contract of any share of the University in the income of the sub-lessees,” the COA said.

    It said the University president should instruct the BulSU’s legal officer to “initiate appropriate action” against the delinquent former students for their unpaid tuition; against Graceland to compel it to pay up its accountabilities; and against Chevron for allowing non-allied sub-lessees in violation of its contract.