Mayor will not pay for MassKara 2023 expenses anymore, foundation exec says

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – A top official of the Bacolod Yuhum Foundation Inc. (BYFI), which is again handling MassKara Festival 2023, assured that Bacolod City mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez will not cover the expenses for festival activities similar to what happened last year.

BYFI president Katherine Matiling said on Monday that they have already learned from last year’s experiences, adding “It will not happen again.”

Matiling, together with some BYFI officials, joined Benitez in a press conference after questions were asked by the media about festival activities and other issues related to the holding of the festival.

Matiling said that all contracts with the different sponsors are covered by a memorandum of agreement.

“We assure you that the mayor will not cover up for anything, we have taken necessary precautions on this,” she added.

BYFI records for the MassKara 2022 festival indicated that it suffered a P6-million shortfall, which Benitez paid using his personal funds.

However, the mayor said he paid more than P6 million for MassKara Festival 2022 expenses.

“It’s a double figure,” he added.

Matiling said the shortfall happened because some contracts were closed “verbally” but she declined to elaborate.

BYFI also refrained from revealing their target budget for this year’s festival because of non-disclosure agreements with their sponsors.

But Matiling assured it would be enough and the mayor would no longer shell out his own money.

Benitez, meanwhile, expressed surprise that the media was not updated with the final list of activities for this year’s MassKara Festival.

“I think there is already a final list, you are not informed yet? “Benitez reacted.

He added that the BYFI has presented the final list of activities Monday morning to the city government employees and DepEd officials at the Bacolod City Government Center during the flag ceremony.

The mayor said he asked BYFI officials to present the same to the media.