RDC head: Council’s fund were not used in New York trip-A A +A
Monday, October 22, 2012
REGIONAL Development Council (RDC) co-chair Virgilio Bautista said no RDC funds were used during a recent trip of several of its members to New York for a trade fair.
He said this during a recent press conference on October 19 held at the Department of Tourism (DOT) Regional office.
Earlier, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Director Myrna Pablo proposed for the region to participate in a trade fair at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, from September 15 to 17, saying the event is a venue to promote Cordilleran products.
Cordillera was one of the only two regions in the Philippines chosen to be part of the event.
Pablo presented the proposal during the RDC’s third quarterly meeting held August 31 with the presence of various government agencies and politicians. She asked for funding for expenses amounting to P489,532.
The financial support was supposed to come from the special autonomy funds of the RDC. However, the different private sector representatives vehemently rejected the idea.
Despite this, delegates of Cordillera, namely Pablo, DOT Regional Director Purificacion Molintas, National Commission on Indigenous People–Kalinga director Naty Shiu, Narda’s Arts and Crafts Narda Capuyan, Lucia Capuyan, Abra Tourism Council officer Ruby Bersamin, Abra Governor Eustaquio Bersamin, Kalinga Governor and RDC chairman Jocel Baac went to the event.
Molintas said her expenses were shouldered by her agency.
On the other hand, Pablo said she used her personal money for some of her expenses. She revealed the other expenses were shouldered by some Filipinos in New York.
“I am least affected (by the controversy on the funds) because I did my best there during the trade fair,” commented Molintas.
The two government heads said they were able to meet some “huge” businessmen during the business orientation who have plans to invest in the country.
They added they felt proud when they were presenting the region’s loomwoven, wearables, beads and woven fabrics during the product exhibits and the couture fashion show.
They said the foreign professional models showed off the different woven attires of the Cordillera during the fashion show.
Moreover, Pablo and Molintas revealed the results of the trade fair to the media. These are: potential display areas along Manhattan were identified by the Consul General of the Philippines; market tie–ups were established; interests on local fabrics and beads were gained; and return missions were created.
When asked on filing cases against media practitioners who published that RDC funds were used on the New York trip, Bautista said they have no plan to go against reporters because they want to maintain their good relationship.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 23, 2012.