THE COMMISSION on Audit-Central Visayas (COA-7) questioned Minglanilla town on its P2.5 million expenditure for the Kabanhawan festival.
The COA asked Minglanilla officials to explain the ?excessive and unnecessary? spending of the town on its festival last year.
An audit observations memorandum (AOM) was addressed to the town of Minglanilla, Mayor Eduardo Selma and Councilor Concordio Mejias, chairman of the committee on socio-culture.
The AOM was signed by COA-7 regional Cluster Director Helen Hilayo and Audit Team leader Annabelle Arcadia Tantoy.
Mejias said in an interview that they filed their answer yesterday explaining that the appropriations was vital to the implementation of their Sugat-Kabanhawan festival which has boosted the town?s tourism.
He said the festival really helped in Minglanilla?s development as a first class municipality in southern Cebu.
Mejias said they were surprised with the COA?s request of explanation because the town has been appropriating the same amount for the last two years that they have been celebrating the Kabanhawan Festival.
He said Cebu City had an P8 million budget for the Sinulog Festival.
Mejias said town officials in their reply to the COA asked government auditors how much they should appropriate for the festival.
?That way, we can explain to our constituents if the budget will be decreased,? the councilor said.
Mejias explained that part of the P2.5 million was shared with the 14 contingents of the festival from different schools.
Each school was given P30,000.
Mejias said some contingents backed out this year because the P30,000 budget was not enough for them to join the contest. Reporter Nilda Gallo