No more parties in Davao City?

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014


DAVAO CITY – After more than an hour of grilling, the 17th City Council recommended Tuesday for the revocation of the business permit issued to an event organizer for alleged violations committed under the 2005 Davao City Revenue Code.

Some members of the Council interrogated Katrina Mae “Kat” Dalisay, who during the one-hour grilling turned emotional, for allegedly not paying the right taxes, but she insisted that she complied the necessary obligations after the event and even asked for their consideration.

The draft of the resolution, signed by Councilor Tomas Monteverde IV, cited the violations allegedly committed by Dalisay.

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For the Carte Blanche (first event held last November 16, 2013), Dalisay allegedly did not post bond as required by the City Treasurer’s Office and conducted the event even when the permit was not issued yet.

For the Liberalia: Neon Glow Party (third event held on March 15 this year), the event organizer allegedly misdeclared the number of tickets to be sold. She reportedly declared to the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) that there would only be 1,000 tickets for P500 each, but the CTO discovered there were three prices for the tickets sold, which are P1,500, P1,000 and P500.

“Such acts made by the event organizer violates Section 89 of the 2005 Revenue Code by deliberately making false statement, which shall be ground for the revocation of the permit,” Monteverde’s resolution read.

“Despite the showing of the City Government of Davao to all the enterprising entrepreneurs like Dalisay that we are business-friendly city, the same cannot be absolute if there is a deliberate intent to evade its tax obligations due to the City Government of Davao,” it read.

The Council approved the resolution recommending the revocation of the business permit issued by the Business Bureau to Dalisay for violating the city’s revenue code “without prejudice to her right of due process.”

Monteverde, in an interview during the one-hour recess of the Council, told reporters that he prepared the draft of the resolution recommending the revocation Tuesday morning before the session started.

The Council

Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre said Dalisay was clearly violating city rules for holding the Carte Blanche even before her business permit was approved on November 29, 2013.

He also questioned the “professionalism” of Dalisay for failing to obtain a certification from Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), which offers training program and make them certified event organizers.

“You do not know your responsibility as an event organizer,” he told Dalisay. “Let us all be responsible.”

Councilor Rachel Zozobrado also questioned Dalisay for not having enough knowledge about what was going on about the events considering that she is the rightful owner.

“You are supposed to be the owner and the operator and if your father updates you of what is happening with regards of your event, you should have known how to answer all of these allegations,” Zozobrado said.

“We want that hindi naman kami mapagbintangan na may binibigyan kami ng pabor. Everybody should follow the law and I cannot say ‘I don’t know that,” she added in reaction to Dalisay’s repeated “I don’t know” answers to some questions asked of her.

Councilor Leah Librado-Yap also reminded Dalisay about The Women Development Code of Davao City, which she earlier included in her comments posted on Facebook.

“I am just worried because you are not just attacking the City Council, but the law itself,” Librado-Yap said.

“May I just remind you that the lawmakers did not craft this law for purposes of irritating your events or preventing people from wearing skimpy clothes during a party. You know this law was crafted because we want to prevent any discrimination or violation abuse against us, women,” she added.

Meanwhile, Councilor Diosdado Mahipus reminded his fellow councilors that the questions are “self-incriminating.”

“These questions must be asked with the assistance of a counsel,” he said.

He also reminded Dalisay that she can assert her right to self incrimination.

However, Councilor Bonifacio Militar said the interrogation was conducted for the purpose of clarifying what really happened.

“We are not prosecutors here. We are legislators. We are just trying to get information in aid of legislation,” Militar said.

Organizer’s response

Dalisay said that she does not know about the allegations on the excess selling of tickets.

She also clarified that the 10,000 (approximate number of party-goers) was the head count but not the ticket sale.

She also responded to the issue of the City’s women development code.

“I was accused for violating the Women’s Code during our meeting with the city councilors. I did not force anybody for wearing bikini,” she said.

Dalisay burst into tears when she read her prepared statement before the City Council.

She apologized for the Facebook statuses she posted. “I am really sorry for my conduct. I own up to my lack of judgment and will offer no further explanation and justification for my Facebook posts,” she said.

She asserted that Manic Nightnings paid all the taxes.

“There may have been lapses on the first permit application but was duly complied upon after the event,” she said.

She also said private and government-paid security and emergency personnel were present during her events.

She said they abide by the liquor ban policy and that the party-goers were not allowed to smoke nor sell or use drugs.

She said minors had special wristbands to wear for easy identification and to ensure that they will not be served any alcoholic drinks during the Liberalia event.

“I am not here to change any ordinances or fight anyone. I am not asking for premium treatment in relation to any of our city’s ordinances. I am here asking for your support and an opportunity to work with the government; to help encourage tourists to visit our city, most especially during the Kadayawan season,” she said.

Dalisay said her events were aimed at promoting Davao City as a “tourist destination and educate people about music and culture.”

“I really wanted Dabawenyos to experience a different kind of an event never before seen in the city - a themed party,” she said.

“Our events are more than just parties. They are a synergy of creativity. A showcase of our city’s talents and skills and a stimulus for business and tourism,” she added.

City Hall’s move

City administrator lawyer Melchor Quitain, who was also present during the session on Tuesday, said Acting Mayor Paolo Duterte tasked him to investigate on the alleged violations.

Quitain also recommended for event organizers to use one name for their group to avoid confusion and that they must abide by the city’s rules. In the various applications for the rave parties Dalisay filled up, there were several variations to the name of the production group including Manic Nightnings, Manic Nightnings Production, and Manic Ninings.

Quitain said the recommendation of the City Council must “be given the correct consideration considering (sic) this comes from an equal branch of the city government.”

He assured that “the executive department will act whether to revoke or not Dalisay’s business permit.”

“This should be a wake-up call for our personnel to monitor closely all events,” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 23, 2014.

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