The Concerned Members of Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Inc would like to raise the following issues for the consideration of the General Membership. The group will present this during the Annual General Meeting of PFVI on 28 April 2013 at the Philippine Community Centre in Laverton.
1. Sale of the Second Portion of the PFVI Laverton Property
- No full consultation with the General Membership and no transparency in the sale process before signing of the Contract of Sale –
What is the purpose for the sale of this 2nd portion of the PFVI property? What will the money from this sale do for the Filipino Community in Victoria? Was a full consultation and study done by the Management Committee on their proposed project? Did the Management Committee do their Due Diligence study as to whether the project they have in mind has the approval of the Hobsons Bay City Council? Is this project viable and self sustaining?
- Questions on the Purchaser and the agreed price – again did the Management Committee do their Due Diligence research as to the intent of the Purchaser? Would this be in harmony with whatever project the PFVI Management Committee intends to do? Would the Purchaser’s plans for the purchase meet the Hobson’s Bay City Council approval? What is the financial capacity and expertise of the Purchaser to carry out his plan for the purchase of the land?
- The Contract of Sale executed by the Chairman, Mr Ross Manuel and his colleague, upon examination has raised many questions which may be to the disadvantage of PFVI the Vendor. Why did the Management Committee engage the services of the Purchaser’s Conveyancer and why use only a Conveyancer in a million dollar plus transaction? Did the Agent from Raine & Horne responsible for this Transaction exercise Duty of Care for its client, the PFVI, to protect its interest? Who was the Agent? Why did 2 members of the PFVI Management Committee sign as Guarantors for the Purchaser? Did the Management Committee approve or sign the Section 27 (early release of the deposit)?
When this was asked at the July meeting the Chairman said No but another committee member said Yes. The Agent would normally want their commission paid ASAP. If PFVI had a solicitor they would have been advised as to what is the best thing to do to protect their interest.
- Price of the property and Conditions of the Contract of Sale – was the price negotiated fair? What exactly were the conditions negotiated and agreed upon by the Management Committee in this Contract of Sale?
There are many more unanswered questions which are disturbing and we are hampered by non-access to official documents.
2. PFVI Finance
- Double Discharge of Mortgage of the PFVI Laverton Property – one dated 5 June 2003 and then another one dated 09 July 2010. Was this a bank error? An oversight by the bank and PFVI? What does Discharge of Mortgage on the same property under two different dates mean?
- Question raised by the PFVI auditor Johnsey Davey & Co way back on 13 October 2005 to the PFVI Board and its Members – i) the absence of statements, passbook for a CBA savings account for its review; ii) no written evidence provided for the existence of personal loan to Directors. When this was raised by the Concerned Members the explanation was it was a loan to Devine when she was a Director of PFVI and was having some financial difficulty. Why did the auditor referred to “Directors” – it being more than one.
- Losses in the last 3 years in the operation of the Philippine Fiesta
- Non submission of Financial Reports to the Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) for 3 years which can put the PFVI as an organization at risk – risk of closure.
- Unexplained reduction in the Term Deposit by $8,500. A few weeks after this was raised the $8,500 suddenly reappeared but the questions of who took it, who returned it and why it was taken in the first place were never answered.
- Non-cooperation by PFVI Management Committee to give full access to the Concerned Members of all PFVI documents which are all relevant to questions and concerns raised by them. All Members should have access to all documents to avoid speculations or suspicions, rightly or otherwise.
3. Questions in the exercise of Constitutional Changes/Amendments
- Non registration of Amendments to the Constitution. It has now come to light that some amendments from the past and current Management Committee have not been registered with CAV and yet these amendments have been exercised. Amendment such as the giving of Lifetime Membership and Honorary Membership to some members of PFVI.This was a grave oversight and whilst this amendment had been put to practice, the fact that they were not registered with CAV still leave them not legally correct. The changes in the Membership process remain questionable.
- The necessity and urgency to update the PFVI Constitution to address the now complex entity of PFVI. It is no longer just a cultural non-profit organization. PFVI has an asset worth several million dollars which should be carefully managed to benefit the Filipino community as stated in the PFVI Mission and Objectives.
The abovementioned issues are serious breaches of the Association’s Act and the PFVI Constitution. They also raised questions as to the competence of the Management Committee to manage PFVI.
We therefore propose that the following Resolutions be adopted which will pave the way to rectify and clean up PFVI.
- Pass a Special Resolution to stand down the current PFVI Management Committee headed by Mr Ross Manuel, and all its members as per attached list (see Appendix 1) by all intents and purposes are still accountable for the PFVI operations up to 31 December 2012, particularly pertaining to the financial position and any related or unrelated activities of PFVI. Further that all PFVI records, membership, financial, bank related and any transactions relating to PFVI be handed over to an Interim Special Management Committee immediately.
- Pass a Special Resolution to Appoint an Interim Special Management Committee of Seven (7) for a period of only three (3) months who will be tasked to take over the full management of PFVI for that period. They are also tasked to review, re-draft and/ or update the PFVI Constitution and organize a Special General Meeting for the purpose of electing new set of Officers to take over the remaining period of office of the recently stood down management committee. That any member appointed to the Interim Special Management Committee will not be eligible to stand for election of officers of PFVI.
- Pass a Special Resolution to Review, Re-draft, Amend or Up-date the PFVI Constitution.
Get more stories like this in your inbox!
Sign up for our newsletter and receive regular updates.