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May 15, 2009

Social Security Board wants CitCo to pay for S.E.L. debt

Story PictureThe Belize City Council finds itself in a new monetary dispute with another garbage company. It is not Belize Waste Management Limited or even Belize Maintenance Limited, it’s Sanitation Enterprises Limited. S.E.L. does not exist anymore as it went out of business and sold it’s contract to Belize Maintenance Limited. The City Council owes S.E.L. over one point seven million dollars for services. While that debt was mounting, S.E.L. failed to pay social security contributions for its workers. The owner of the defunct company, Rupert Marin, accumulated debts to the Social Security Board of three hundred nineteen thousand four hundred and sixteen dollars. And a section in the Social Security Regulations allows for a third party to collect on those debts. According to City Councilor Philip Willoughby, SSB wants Belize City Council to pay them the three hundred grand, and also take that money from the council’s subvention.

Philip Willoughby, Councillor Responsible for Garbage Collection
“Sometime ago in the past Mr. Rupert Marin won an arbitration ruling against the council prior to our council being in office for its first term, under the previous one, P.U.P., there was some indebtedness to them as well as under ours. Mr. Marin went to court and I believe he won an arbitration ruling against the court. He took the arbitration ruling and said to probably Social Security and said well yes I probably owe you this money—I don’t know I cant speak for him and their conversation but—here’s the arbitration award, go to them and I believe that is where that evolved from. Under the Social Security Act, as I have spoken to someone from the legal department, they do have that right to garnish a claim against anyone who has the third party status for someone that is liable to them. I have shared the document with Mr. Ghandi, who is holding over for the attorney general. I sent a copy over to the office of the prime minister to get advice on the matter, so we can resolve it. But even more so, what came out of the court hearing last week Friday was actually to make a move on the council’s subvention, to say this is how they can pay or let us have that.”

The Mayor is away on business and Willoughby says she will attend to the situation as soon as she returns.


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