by Rimaliza A. Opiña
The memorandum of agreement between the city government and the Baguio Conventions and Visitors Bureau (BCVB) will be reviewed and possibly revised in compliance with the recommendations of the Commission on Audit, which said several lapses were committed in the use of the Philippine Tourism Authority building.
The PTA building across Burnham Park’s children’s playground is being used as office of the BCVB and allied organizations such as the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc., Baguio Tourism Council, Center for Hospitality Education Foundation Inc., and a store selling sports apparel and accessories.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan will be calling for a meeting with officials of the BCVB and the COA for consultation on how both parties will comply with the latter’s memo.
The mayor also wrote the city council regarding the still unconfirmed memorandum of agreement between the BCVB and then mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr.
Domogan said the city government and the BCVB is taking positively the COA’s memo, which, among others, recommended for review of the MOA to ensure that government should benefit more from the use of the building.
Domogan also gave credit to the BCVB. He said the group was instrumental in the building’s rehabilitation through its constant follow-up with the PTA. For the building’s upkeep, BCVB also had to lease a portion for overhead costs.
Among the findings of the COA are the BCVB’s use of the building is void because the MOA was not confirmed by the city council; BCVB should not lease out any portion of the building; the BCVB has not been submitting its financial statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In an earlier interview, BCVB legal counsel Renato Rondez said his client’s occupancy of the building is in good faith. He also said his client and the city government will abide by the recommendations of the COA.