BAGUIO CITY – Administrators of the city-owned Baguio Convention Center are pushing for the amendment of the ordinance governing the administration, management and operation of the facility to upgrade fees reflecting current rates.
City Administrator Carlos M. Canilao, who appeared before the City Council in relation to issues that cropped up from the Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) on the management of the facility, claimed the local legislative body must amend the 21-year old ordinance governing the Baguio Convention Center to make rules and policies for the continuous operation of the facility relevant at the present time.
“We have never been remiss in the managing the facility since the local government acquired the ownership from the Government Service Insurance System in 2011. We made sure that all transactions relative to the operation of the convention facility were properly documented to conform with the existing accounting and auditing rules and regulations,”Canilao stressed.
Earlier, the local legislative body summoned the administrators of the Baguio Convention Center to clarify issues that cropped up from the AOM handed down by the Commission on Audit (COA) relative to their alleged failure to submit lease contracts for the use of the facility to the council for confirmation.
Canilao took exception to the observation raised by the AOM that the facility was mismanaged, saying that since he took over the management of the convention center after it was acquired by the city, he made sure all transactions relative to its use passed through the appropriate government procedures whereby payments are done with the City Treasury Office.
City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias revealed the City Administrator issues an order of payment which will be the basis of his office to collect the payments made by those individuals and groups wanting to use the facility for their desired purposes.
He added the local government is able to earn P3 million annually amidst the discounts and free use of the facility being extended to individuals, groups, and local officials wanting to use the convention center.
He called on the council to introduce the appropriate amendments to Ordinance No. 95, series of 1995 to include applicable provisions that will improve the administration, operation, and maintenance of the Center to avoid similar problems in the future.
Canilao said the local government also plans to fence the city-owned property, put up the gates, and hire a sufficient number of security guards to secure the facility and prevent the free use of its available spaces as parking for motor vehicles, except for those transport groups and companies with existing contracts to use the parking spaces for their vehicles.
By Dexter A. See