Review sought on costs of CICC set-up-A A +A
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
THE observation that the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) earned less than its operating costs in the last two years prompted Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale to ask for a review of its expenses.
Her spokesperson, lawyer Dara Acusar, said that in 2012, the CICC earned P14.07 million. Its expenses charged to the CICC trust fund amounted to P11.86 million.
But the center’s water, electricity, landscaping and overtime expenses, a total of P10.18 million, was charged to the general fund.
Put together, it appears the CICC’s operating expenses reached P22.04 million, or nearly P8 million more than what it earned the whole year.
Sun.Star Cebu tried to reach Marisa Nallana, the center’s managing consultant, through her staff member Leah Rojo but there was no response.
Sun.Star also texted Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and her consultant, lawyer Rory Jon Sepulveda, but both had yet to respond as of press time.
Magpale said she also wanted to know why the CICC’s water rate, at P60 per cubic meter, is much higher than the going rate, like MCWD’s P13.60 per cubic meter.
Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, a member of the board that manages the center, initially inquired at Magpale’s office about the CICC’s revenues and expenses.
Atty. Acusar said that the acting governor does not consider the CICC as a profit-generating facility, but they will no longer allow its free use.
She said Magpale also wants the treasurer to review the contract and breakdown of expenses for the CICC. A similar pattern was observed in 2011.
That year, the center earned P13.17 million and spent P12.83 million. But its electricity, water, overtime and landscaping expenses, a total of P8.87 million, were also charged to the general fund.
The CICC was built upon the agreement of the Mandaue City Government and the Province in 2006, ahead of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Cebu.
The 38,136 square meters occupied by the CICC compound belong to Mandaue, but the Province built the facility.
They then agreed to operate the center jointly, through a management board.
They also agreed to put up P5 million each for the center’s operational expenses and to share its income equally.
The Commission on Audit (COA) later noted that the CICC management board has not been registered, after more than four years in existence, and that the joint venture agreement between Capitol and Mandaue, as well as the P5-million disbursement, did not have the City Council’s approval.
COA disallowed Mandaue from releasing P5 million to CICC.
This prompted the Capitol to shoulder all the expenses in running the CICC, amounting to about P10 million a year, said Provincial Attorney Marino Martinquilla.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 26, 2013.