ORGANIZERS of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) disclosed that they were able to collect at least P150 million during the event last January.
Of the P150 million collected, around P130M has been used for the payables incurred during the IEC, said Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Villarojo, 51st IEC secretary-general.
But Villarojo assured that the amount is still partial and they plan to provide a more detailed accounting of their finances to the public in a few days.
In a press conference yesterday, Villarojo said that even though they target to earn P262 million, they were surprised that the expenditures they incurred reached P130 million.
Villarojo said that aside from the registration fees, which made most of the bulk of their earnings, donations from private persons, proceeds from various special activities related to the IEC and even their collections from the Piso Para sa Misa ng Mundo (PPMM) had helped in the fund-raising aspect of the event.
He also disclosed that they incurred less expenditures during the IEC last January because of the efforts of various groups and individuals who donated in kind or even their time to assist them in making the event successful, particularly the 6, 000 volunteers.
With at least P20 million left in their hands, Villarojo and members of the organizing committee will use the remaining money to put up projects that will make the IEC last January more meaningful, such as organizing tree planting activities.
With the proposed “Abtanan sa Kabus” set to be built at the St. Joseph Parish in Barangay Mabolo.
For the poor
IEC organizers also want to put the remaining funds to good use by organizing activities focused on improving the lives of the poor.
The “Abtanan sa Kabus” will also serve as one of the many structural legacies of the 51st IEC in Cebu, which includes the Eukaristiya Garden of Thanksgiving at the Archbishop’s Residence and the IEC Pavilion at the Archdiocesan Seminaries.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, who serves as the president of the 51st IEC, told reporters that he had wanted to avoid a situation wherein they have cash left from the IEC, as he feels that having extra funds from the event could put the Catholic Church in a negative light.
But he assures the faithful that the remaining funds will be dedicated to good causes.
Palma also announced that the local committee’s organization of the 51st IEC has been praised by officials from the Vatican.
Palma said that based on a report to Pope Francis by Fr. Vittori Bocardi of the Pontifical Committee of the International Eucharistic Congresses, the Italian priest the IEC in Cebu as one of the most memorable so far.
Bocardi particularly praised the spirituality and culture of the Cebuanos who came in droves to attend to the various religious activities of the 51st IEC.
Meanwhile, organizers of the 51st IEC are set to launch a commemorative book that will serve to immortalize the week-long event.
Fr. Jojo De Aquino, chairman of the 51st IEC’s Documentation Committee, told reporters that around 5,000 copies of the book will be sold for P2,000 each.
Dr. Jojo Bersales, a well-known Cebuano historian and the book’s editor-in-chief, said that the book, entitled “Days of Hope and Glory,” will feature various articles and photos of what had happened during the 51st IEC last January.