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Concerned Members elect Interim Committee
The Management Committee of the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Inc (PFVI) and the Concerned Members of Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Inc. (CMPFVI) were at loggerheads during the recent Annual General Meeting. The Management Committee is adamant that it is still the legitimate administrator, while the Concerned Members is insistent that the Management Committee was stood down and an elected Caretaker Committee should now look after the Fiesta affairs until such time that a new set of officers are elected. Heated discussions and accusations marked the meeting held last 28 April 2013 at the Philippine Community Centre in Laverton.
The elected members of the Interim Special Management Committee are: Maina Walkley, Noel Tolentino, Eddie Atacador, Tony Lugo, Gerry Ocampo, Hugo “Boy” Espenida, and Rolly Hernandez. They will take over full management of PFVI for three months until such time that a new set of officers is elected. The committee will review, re-draft/update the PFVI Constitution and organise a special meeting for the election of officers. These seven members are not eligible to run for a position during the PFVI election.
From these members, Walkley was elected as Chairperson and Gerry Ocampo as Public Officer. The Interim Management Committee will hold its first meeting on 4 May 2013, 2-4 pm in Wantirna South.
Two-day Fiesta profit at $1,455.24
During the AGM, PFVI Treasurer Resy Lim reported a profit of $1,455.24 from the two-day November 2012 Fiesta. It generated an income of $103,964.55 but expenses totaling $90,893.68 had to be deducted leaving $13,070.87. (See attached summary report.)
PFVI has been losing money since 2009 where it only earned $18,605. The following year, income was at $43,285 which plummeted in 2011 to $7,471. The disappointing profit of the 2012 Fiesta puts Manuel’s management again in a difficult situation. His management of nearly 11 years is being blamed for the dwindling finances of the Fiesta.
Caretaker committee appointed
A heated debate took place during the latter part of the meeting. Liz Honey, member of the Management Committee, said the Committee would tackle the issues raised by the Concerned Members in their recent letter. She reiterated that the Officers are willing to work with them and discuss the problems. The Concerned Members, however, did not accept her proposal and instead asked the Management Committee to step down.
Walkley said it’s really time for the Management Committee to end their term. “We do not trust you anymore. We do not believe that you are capable of serving this organisation. There are so many questions and some decisions you have contravened. You have breached many rules of acts and many rules of the Constitution. Why should we have you? We are willing to work with you in the past. You ignored all the requests. You ignored all the questions. You keep saying “noted”, “noted”, “noted”. You did not do anything. You need to step down,” Walkley told the Committee. Walkley was instrumental in finding the Laverton property.
Honey then requested for a five-minute break so the Committee could discuss their best option. When they returned, Honey asked the group to respect the Chair, Ross Manuel as he was not present and promised them that they will look closely at the issues raised. The members said “Enough is enough.” Left with no choice, Honey officially ended the meeting and the entire panel left the room.
Meanwhile, since there were enough members present in the room for a quorum, the group moved that a Special General Meeting be held so the members can vote on the proposed resolutions. The three special resolutions were: to ask the Management Committee to step down; to appoint a Special Managament Committee, and to review the current PFVI Constitution.
We should work as one
When asked to comment on the staging of another meeting, Honey told The Philippine Times, “That one (referring to the meeting in another room), I can’t say anything. We left the room now. We already closed the meeting. So I don’t know where it stands. The group will have a meeting and go from there. Overall, I asked them to compromise pero ayaw nila.” She said her group is willing to work with the CMPFVI, “We should work as one. It should be as one. I have recognised their letter. We will tackle those issues.”
Officers present during AGM
Out of the 16 Management Committee members, 10 were present during the AGM. PFVI Chairperson Ross Manuel was absent due to an illness. Manuel Asuncion was also unwell. Asuncion had earlier resigned due to health reasons but told The Philippine Times that his resignation was not accepted.
Roy Carbungo and Remy Raquel, as per PFVI documents, are considered resigned but Carbungco insisted they are not as they followed the request of the Committee to respond to their email explaining the walk-out in protest to Ed Guevarra’s disqualification in the 2012 Election of Officers. Meanwhile, Alex Ordoña was present at the meeting but did not sit in the panel during the AGM. He resigned last year as PRO and is now a non-performing Director. Melba Rivera was also absent due to an illness.
Kotsakis as convenor
At the start of the meeting, the members immediately questioned the presence of George Kotsakis of Migrante Australia in the panel. The Management Committee invited him to serve as Convenor of the meeting. The members refused saying they did not need one and Kotsakis would only be called when needed. He was even asked to be part of the Interim Committe and earlier agreed but eventually begged off due to work commitments in the community.
A total of 288 lifetime and financial members were sent notices of the AGM.
The Philippine Times is open to Manuel’s reaction to the issue.
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