SP tackles lack of Choco Complex financial statements from Carmen LGU

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SP tackles lack of Choco Complex financial statements from Carmen LGU

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Provincial Treasurer Eustaquio Soccorin on Wednesday said that local government unit of Carmen failed to regularly submit monthly financial reports on the operations of the Chocolate Hills Complex to the provincial government.

Soccorin, who reported the issue to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) committee on tourism, said that the LGU is required to regularly submit the said reports as stipulated by a provision under a memorandum of agreement (MOA).

During the SP’s session on August 19, 2016, Board Member Tomas Ababo expressed concern on the lack of transparency in the operations of the Chocolate Hills Complex, prompting the collegial body’s tourism committee to review the issue.

The tourism committee, which is headed by Board Member Alexie Tutor, noted on Wednesday that the Carmen LGU’s remittance of the provincial government’s share of the income generated by the tourism complex had been decreasing from 2010 to 2015, despite the continued growth of tourist arrivals in Bohol.

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For his part, Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio II, reported to the committee that the provincial government earned P8.6 million in 2010 through the Chocolate Hills Complex, based on a record from the Provincial Treasurer’s Office.

Since then, the provincial government’s income from the establishment started to decline.

The province’s earnings from the tourist destination was recorded at P7.4 million in 2011, P6.1 million in 2012, P5.7 million in 2013, 3.5 million in 2014 and P2.9 million in 2015.

Based on the “detailed statement of operations” for 2015, the provincial government’s share reached P4.1 million, while Carmen received P9.1 million and Barangay Buenos Aires earned P969,620, which is 10 percent of the LGU’s share.

The said financial statement was signed by Carmen Mayor Ricardo Francisco Toribio, municipal accountant Dexter Chan, Municipal Administrator and Choco In-Charge Atty. Eliezer Cagol Jr. and Choco Bookeeper Baby Rosary Paña.

According to the MOA, the provincial government supposedly receives 30 percent of the complex’s monthly income while the Carmen LGU gets 70 percent.

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Previously, Board Memeber Tomas Abapo, suggested in a privilege speech during the SP regular session on August 19, 2016 the creation of a management board to oversee the operations of the Chocolate Hills Complex and address current transparency issues.

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The board member said that the proposed management board will be chaired by the governor and co-chaired by the mayor of Carmen. (Rey Tutas) 

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