WHILE lauding the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Citem) for its P41.7-million income for 2012, the Commission on Audit said that this should have been reported as savings from its subsidy, not as income from sales.
The COA asked Citem to check its reportage on its performance after a state audit showed that its P41.7-million income from 2012 was due mainly from government subsidy and not because of strong sales.
In the 2012 audit, Citem, an agency under the Department of Trade and Industry, said that from a net loss of P37.6 million in 2011, it attained a 111-percent income increase worth P41.7 million. For that year, Citem reported posting a net income of P4.1 million.
However, the COA said that the income reported was not due to good performance of DTI’s export promotions effort but because of government subsidy.
The COA said that Citem got P47.05 million for project trade fairs in 2012, of which the DTI gave P33 million and the Department of Agriculture, P5.5 million. Participation fees from exhibitors grossed P7.1 million and the balance came from Poro Point-City of San Fernando and other sponsors.
The COA said that Citem closed 2012 with a P4.15-million income.
“The income was not necessarily a result of increases in income or decreases in expenses from operations, but due mainly to increase in the subsidy of P91 million from the national government,” COA said.
Revenues from participation fees on international and locally held projects decreased by P4.7 million in 2012, while expenses increased by P27 million.
COA added that alongside P27-million expenses for holding exhibitions, the corresponding export sales decreased by $18.31 million.
“The purpose of the trade fairs is to assist exhibitors sell their products in the global market. With export sales considered as the measure of success of the project trade fairs, it appeared that with the decrease in export sales, the purpose of sponsoring local products to make them known in the world market, was defeated,” COA said.
It added that figures from the results of Manila Fame, arguably Citem’s biggest project, “showed an increase of only 12 percent in the number of exhibitors and 30 percent for visitors.”
COA pointed out that the year-on-year comparison of income derived from Manila Fame showed only a small increase from P23.4 million in 2011 to P23.7 million in 2012 “or an increase of only 1.5 percent.”
The audit team asked Citem to adopt a risk assessment and management process to accurately gauge its performance, and find out the actual level of success of its projects.
It also asked the agency to regularly monitor exhibitors’ sales as a barometer of accomplishments of trade expos, and review expenses with significant increases and their impact on accomplishments “to avoid losses and protect government funds.”