CAGAYAN Journal (Ben Balce/Sept 4) Councilor Simeon Licayan, in last Tuesday’s regular session had suggested to his colleagues for a review of the memorandum of agreement between the city and Promote CdO and the latter’s financial statement.
Promote CDO President Ruben Vegafria said his group welcomes this, while assuring that their financial books have been always open for scrutiny even for the media, much more to its partner—the city government.
In organizing the festival, he made it clear that Promote CDO had not received even a peso from City Hall, but has “religiously remitted” its share to the city government.
Under the contract, which ends in 2014, City Hall gets 30 percent of the foundation’s income.
In 2007, Promote CDO remitted P450,000 to City Hall; P441,000 last year.
Vegafria said they have even shouldered part of the cost of the building of the McArthur Monument in Macabalan wharf and have been instrumental in getting grants that funded the promotion of trade in the city.
“But it’s frustrating that in spite of these efforts all we are receiving are criticisms,” he said.
Vegafria also lamented that Bacal had alluded in a radio interview that the drop of arrivals in the city can be attributed to Promote CDO’s “utter incompetence” in promoting the city.
“I heard him (Bacal) in a radion interview that he said the city has sunk to number 15 in terms of arrivals because we are not doing our job. We are a private entity trying to help the city. That is he’s job being the chair of the committee of tourism. That’s not part of our mandate,” Vegafria said.
He added that Bacal as an elected official should be the one spearheading the movement to promote the city.
“He (Bacal) should be part of the movement, not just stay by the sidelines and wait for mistakes and then be the first to cast the stone,” he said.
Last June, Vegafria said they made a presentation to Bacal for the creation of a conferences and events bureau for the city since the Cagayan de Oro is fast becoming the conference capital of Northern Mindanao.
“Hantud karon, gilingkoran lang niya (Bacal) ang among gi-hagoan nga proposal. Wala pa niya gi-trabaho hantud karon,” he lamented.
When asked about the purportedly “special” treatment to GMA-7 in the festivities, Vegafria saidthey never received any cash from the network.
“As a major sponsor of the festival they offered P3 million worth of media exposure and not cash. The network executives put the non-exclusive coverage clause in the memorandum of agreement themselves,” Vegafria said.