COA questions P19.2M contracts, sponsorships approved by Cesar Montano
The Commission on Audit (COA) questioned P19.2 million worth of contracts and sponsorships approved by actor Cesar Montano during his stint as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Tourism Promotions Board (TBP).
The state audit agency said Montano approved a contract worth P 11.2 million for the sponsorship of “Fusion 2017: Forward, the Philippine Music Festival Year 3” even without the approval of TPB board of directors.
TPB management explained that the chairperson’s approval was not required co-signatory to the checks issued since the amounts were less than P5 million.
However, state auditors said the chairman’s approval was required because the total cost of the project was P11.2 million.
The sponsorship agreement was executed between TPB, represented by Montano, and the manager of Fusion concert festival on January 2018.
Under the agreement, TPB would provide sponsorship worth P11.2 million in exchange for event tickets, plugs, and media booths.
However, COA said the agreement violated TPB’s own rules.
“We noted that the agreement with a contract price of P11.200 million was approved by the COO on March 31, 2017, even though the CY 2017 projects, budgets, and work plans were not yet approved by the TPB Board, and there was no board resolution issued for the approval of the said project,” COA said.
COA also said that the company did not submit liquidation report for P 11.2 million sponsorship even though it was required under the agreement.
“TPB paid the P11.200 million in tranches from February–April 2017. However, the company did not submit the required liquidation report,” COA said.
Intramuros revival project
COA’s report also said that Montano entered into a negotiated contract for the hiring of performers TPB’s sponsorship of the second phase of Intramuros Revival Project.
COA noted that Montano did not sign the bids and awards committee’s resolution recommending to award the P 1 million contract to the highest rated bidder.
Without explaining the reason for rejection, Montano instead entered into a negotiated contract with the losing bidder.
COA also lamented that the the entertainers hired by TPB were not PhilGEPS registered as required by RA 9184.
“The COO believed that he had implemented the second phase of the Intramuros Revival Project in good faith and requests an impartial audit on the first phase of the project,” COA said.
COA also observed that the TPB granted financial assistance worth P7 million to non-tourism related activities and by various organizations, local government units, and private corporations.
“Review of the objective/s of the said activities/projects revealed that these were not related to promoting the country as a tourism destination/enticing tourists to visit the country’s tourism destinations and enjoying its products,” COA said.
“The objectives of the grants for financial assistance/sponsorship were purely for the media mileage/value obtained by TPB as sponsor of the events,” it added.
COA said these projects had no bearing on the promotions of different tourist destination in the country.
“We recommended that Management stop the granting of financial assistance and/or sponsorship to local government units and corporations whose projects or activities that are not related to the promotion of Philippine tourism/not within TPB’s mandate,” COA said. /vvp
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.