Trade fair organizer told to pay P1 million debt

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan confirmed that the City Social Welfare and Development Office already wrote a demand letter to Rocky Aliping, the local trade fair organizer, to remit the remaining P1 million balance from the earlier agreed P2 million fee for the city-sponsored trade fair along Juan Luna drive in Burnham Park that ran for over a month.

The local chief executive said he is optimistic that Aliping, the extended trade fair organiser in lieu of the City Social Welfare and Development Office, will settle his obligation because the proceeds of the trade fair is intended to support the rehabilitation of drug surrenderees in the city.

While he was not a party to the agreement entered into between the City Social Welfare and Development Office and Aliping, who happens to be a member of the board of Directors of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO), he pointed out it is important for the trade fair organizer to pay what be agreed to so that the office will have the funds to support the rehabilitation of the drug surrenderers and to provide the necessary assistance to them for their livelihood.

He claimed based on the computations made by the offices of the city on the number of occupied stalls in the designated trade fair area, the trade organizer was able to earn enough to settle his P2-million commitment to the City Social Welfare and Development Office.

Domogan said that he tasked City Social Welfare and Development Officer Betty Fangasan to coordinate with Aliping for the closure of the issue and the payment of the P1 million balance.

According to him, he thought all along that it was the concerned office that directly managed the trade fair which was supposed to have generated funds to be used for the rehabilitation and livelihood support to the drug surrenderers but the said office decided to partner with a private organizer.

He said because of the bad experience of the concerned office in partnering with trade fair organizers in the conduct of fund-raising activities for noble causes, the office will no longer partner with trade fair organisers to hold their activities in public places in the guise of funding noble projects of various government agencies and local government departments.

Domogan underscored that it will still be best for the concerned department to be the ones to directly handle their fund-raising events instead of partnering with trade fair organizers because the officials will be sure that the income derived therefrom will surely be in full and that the programs that will benefit from such activities will be effectively and efficiently handled to avoid misconceptions on the mishandling of such events. - Dexter A. See