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IDFI has no public accountability

Why did the government of Iloilo City hand on a silver platter the “management” of Dinagyang Festival to a private group called Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI)?

Because, a private sector is more efficient than the public? Ridiculous.

Before the festival was handed by Mayor Buenaventura Geronimo to IDFI in 2001, the dinagyang was already a profitable and major tourism event. Then the city budget for the Dinagyang under Mayor Mansueto Malabor never went beyond P2  million. The Dinagyang committee which included the private sector but headed by the city government, effectively solicited from donors.

Malabor’s successor Buenaventura Geronimo wanted Dinagyang management transferred to a private group but he first ensured first it was dominated by his alter egos led by Benjamin Jimena who later became the city tourism officer and simultaneously IDFI chair. 

The IDFI still remains an LGU creature, not because Ben Jimena is its chair while holding the post of city tourism officer, but due to the fact that the city still continues to be its chief benefactor or source of funds that withdrawal of city support spells its death sentence.

The only efficiency enhanced by the privatization of the Dinagyang is thievery. The IDFI continues to attract huge grants mostly from government but, one difference: it is no longer subject of accounting the moment the mullah flies off from the city treasury into the pocket of the IDFI. Demands for public accounting always fall on its deaf ears or readily be ignored on the cheap argument that being a private entity, it is not governed by the rule on public accountability and transparency.

Aside from from Iloilo City, the IDFI receives grants from the Province of Iloilo, the national government, corporate sponsors and individual donors.  Still, it also collect a windfall from the fees charged on street kiosks, participants in “food festival” areas, establishments hanging streamers and those which had delegations in street merry parades.

Bisan “porta-lets” ginansyahan pa, P10 kada ulo for pangihi kag P20 kun pamus-on.

And the accounting is always zero-zero, like last year’s where on a declared budget of P19 million, it allegedly spent also P19 million, ensakto, wala sinsilyo!

Hasta press IDs ginabaligya pa at P500 per kilo, este, apiece.

Hole of Justice Peter Jimenea dies, dies laughing! Say mo, Jeddah?


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