By NITZ ARANCON
THE chairman of the city council’s committee on trade and commerce has frowned over organizers of the just-concluded Mindanao Business Conference for allegedly leaving members of the city’s legislature out of the biggest gathering of business and industry leaders in Mindanao this year.
Councilor George Goking said he felt that city council members were “discriminated” and “snubbed” during the three-day major event at the Xavier Estates and Country Club.
Goking said he suspected that the cold shoulder was due to the delay in his committee’s action on the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s request for a “tax credit” or tax relief because of how businesses here was affected by the May 23 declaration of martial law.
But the delay, according to Goking, was not due to the committee but because of the failure of those who made the request to submit records or documents that were asked by councilors.
Goking said neither Oro Chamber president Robert Pizzaro nor the group’s former president, Ruben Vegafria, invite members of the city council. Pizzaro and Vegafria were among the prominent organizers of Minbizcon.
“Mas maayo pa ang city council sa Malaybalay, Bukidnon ug Iligan kay ila pang gi-imbitar. Pero kami wala, nga ang conference dinhi raba gipahigayon sa Cagayan de Oro,” he said.
Goking said he had it recorded in the minutes of the meeting of the Philippine Councilors’ League in Region 10 here on Thursday. “Akong gipa-put on record sa among regional meeting sa PCL nga we were not invited.”
He said he has taken note that legislators from Bukidnon received their invitation two days before the start of the Minbizcon while the Iligan city council received an invite two weeks before the event.
Goking said it was apparent to him that the organizers resented his committee’s decision to defer discussions on the tax relief request.
During one of the committee meetings, Oro Chamber officials claimed that business losses in the city due to martial law already reached P200 million at that time, hence the tax relief proposal.
Goking said he had nothing against the request except that the committee could not act on it without the documents or records being sought by the panel so it would have a basis in endorsing it.
“Wala pa gyud ma-resolve kanang issue sa tax credit kay ako silang gipabalik sa among sunod meeting aron magdala sila og record nga alkansi sila sa P200 million. Wala man sila mobalik,” Goking said. “Dili man mahimo nga pag-ingon nila nga alkansi sila, tax credit dayon. Dili puwede na.”