SP takes action on Choco Complex transparency issues

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SP takes action on Choco Complex transparency issues

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The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) appealed to Gov. Edgar Chatto to form a technical working group that would look into the proposed creation of a management board which will oversee operation of the Chocolate Hills Complex

The request was made through a resolution authored by Third District Board Member Alexie Tutor, SP tourism committee chair, on Friday during the regular session headed by Vice Governor Dionisio Balite.

Members of the SP started to mull the creation of the management board after it was made known that the local government unit of Carmen, which manages the tourism complex, had failed to submit monthly reports on finances and the facility’s physical condition.

As stipulated in a 1993 memorandum of agreement (MOA), the Carmen LGU is required to submit monthly financial reports to the provincial government.

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The committee also found out that a share of the complex’ income remitted by the Carmen LGU to the provincial government continuously decreased from 2010 to 2015, despite the yearly increase of tourism arrivals in Bohol.

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 provincial government is entitled to 30 percent of the Chocolate Hills Complex’ monthly income, based on the said MOA.

For their part, officials of the Carmen LGU expressed willingness to cooperate in the creation of the management board which will be comprised of officials from the private sector and the provincial and municipal governments.

Meanwhile, rehabilitation of facilities in the complex is ongoing as these were damaged by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that jolted Bohol in 2013.

The visitors’ information center and the restaurant are among facilities in the establishment which have already been fixed. (Rey Tutas)

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