Festival foundation to push through with accreditation

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

ILOILO Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI) will still push for its accreditation by the Iloilo City council not to receive and spend public funds but as a partner of the city government for the staging of the Dinagyang Festival 2020.

IFFIS’ President, Atty. confirmed.

“IFFI will still push for its accreditation, not for the purpose of the subsidy but accreditation as a partner. We will ask for reconsideration,” according to IFFI president and lawyer Joebert Peñaflorida.

The two-month old organization was on the spotlight following its failure to meet some of the requirements set by the Local Government Code of the Philippines and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the accreditation of civil society organizations (CSO).

The accreditation will allow a CSO to receive and spend government funds for various programs and projects.

Iloilo City Councilor Eduardo Peñaredondo had pointed out that IFFI cannot be accredited by the SP due to its lack of track record.

For an organization to be accredited, Peñaredondo it should have existed for at least one year and must submit its financial record to the local government through the SP.

Hence, IFFI cannot receive funds from the city government for the Dinagyang festival without its accreditation.

But, Peñaflorida assured that they are addressing all concerns of the foundation.

“We are a young foundation. Kon may diperensya kami kay-uhon lang namon. Ang tanan nga gin-raise ni Councilor Peñaredondo, we are addressing it now as we speak,” he said.

In fact, Peñaflorida said they already submitted the additional documents requested by the SP.

Kompleto amon nga papeles, we have submitted it to Councilor Atty. Rommel Duron kay may mga final documents nga ginpangayo sa amon, like the affidavit that we remain to be an independent, as a requirement to all civic association and our accomplishment report in the last two months can take care of an accomplishment report for the whole year,” he said.

Apart from their financial statement, Peñaflorida said they are also ready to show their financial position.

He added that he will appeal for the reconsideration of their track record.

“I will appeal before the committee, they can look at our track record individually as businessmen and entrepreneurs,” Peñaflorida stressed.

To address the concerns of the city council, Peñaflorida also clarified that their organization will not be receiving funds from the city government.

“IFFI is very clear about things which are being a foundation which is new and not yet eligible for any grant, that we will not be a direct recipient of any subsidy or cash assistance from city government. Mayor made an announcement of the P25-million assistance but that would be disbursed by the city for Dinagyang to address the concerns of the city council,” he said.

Peñaflorida assured that they will be raising private funds as a bona fide organization.

Pwede pa kami ka-solicit, we will solicit on our own, because we are beginning on ourselves, we will continue to solicit, ina ya that won’t be public funds but will be private funds,” he said.

IFFI committed that it will also raise the same amount that would be extended by the city government which bring the over-all budget for the staging of the Dinagyang Festival 2020 to P50 million.

Peñaflorida said that they will be submitting their revised memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the City Council to be endorsed by the mayor on the next regular session of SP next week.

“Hopefully by Monday, we would be able to submit already our revised MOA to the City Council para ma-endorse na ni mayor for the next session. Hopefully, makalusot na kami sa next session,” he said.

The businessmen-led IFFI has been tapped by the city government to stage the upcoming Dinagyang Festival, replacing the long-time festival organizer Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI).