This is a question that begs to be answered by the President of PHILTOA or the Philippine Tour Operators Association in the person of Cesar R. Cruz and one that the BIR might be interested to look into.
In the last Philippine Travel Mart 2013, Cruz said in an interview it “had about 34, 000 for traffic, and expect about 50,000” for the September 2014 run. He also said it generated 50 million sales last year and expect 30 percent growth for this year. So that should roughly be 65 million pesos from 249 exhibitors. What a feat,huh? And yet, no copy of the results of the Philippine Travel Mart 2014 were furnished the Board nor included for discussion in the agenda of succeeding Board Meetings. Instead, what ensued was an appreciation lunch for the organizing committee and a planning session for PTM 2015 held in Baguio city which incidentally, went without notice or approval of the Board to close the office.
This is all a matter of good governance. PHILTOA was organized as an association created for the purpose of uniting and promoting closer relations among tour operators and enhance the common interest and welfare of its members. Its other purpose is to encourage professionalism and to promote adherence to the high level of ethical standards in the conduct of business by all its members. These are contained in the by-laws of the association. It is ironic however, how these are being violated by the very own members of the board specifically by Cruz and his cohorts namely, Emy Malate, Vice President,Marketing of Image Travel and Tours and Secretary – General of the association, Bing Miranda, Assistant General Manager of Triplestar Travel & Tours and treasurer of the association,Clang Garcia,Managing Director of Jeepney Tours and PR of the association, and Jimmy Tepora, President and Managing Director of Blessed Genesis Travel Management & Consultancy Inc. and 1st Vice-President of the association. This groupis hell-bent in controlling the coffers of the association as if PHILTOA was their own personal business.
Case in point. In one board meeting, the issue was brought up on whether a copy of the association’s financial records may be given to a member of the association. After all, a member must know where the monies of the association are going and if it is being put to good use by the Board. The reply from Cruz, Malate, and Miranda was it may be viewed at the office premises only but it may not be brought out because it is the property of the Association. Why? There is nothing in the by-laws of the association that says copies of the association’s financial records may not be brought out of the office. And they have the audacity to bandy about transparency! Where is transparency in all this? Are they hiding something from the general membership? Also, where does it state in the by-laws that the Secretary- General is allowed to sign checks as Malate is wont to do? Where and who gave her the authority to do so?
If you think graft and corruption only exists in government think again. Cruz has a lot of explaining to do to the general membership on why he saw the need to create a Philtoa Foundation. Last I heard, he said it cannot appear in the books that Philtoa is earning money from the Philippine Travel Mart. I think it is time for a third party auditor to inspect the books before it is wasted away on a whim and caprice of Cruz and company.
God is great!