Ballesteros to step down as SFI executive director

By Morexette Marie B. Erram and Doris Mae Mondragon |April 15,2018 - 10:32 PM

RICKY Ballesteros will step down as executive director of the Sinulog Foundation Inc., a position he has held for past 15 years.

Ballesteros confirmed reports that he would be leaving his post due to personal reasons.

He said that he would submit his resignation letter to the SFI’s Board of Directors after they would have finished auditing the expenses incurred for the Sinulog Festival 2018.

He said that the auditing process would be completed by the end of summer.

“I have been expressing my intentions to resign from the SFI even back when it was chaired by former Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama. I’m not getting younger and I’ve been here since 2002, when Sinulog started,” said Ballesteros.

He also clarified that his plan to resign had no connection with Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s alleged hints of corruption of the SFI in the past when the mayor compared the Sinulog Festival’s earnings this year to that of earnings of the past years.

Ballesteros said that the figures released by the mayor, indicating that the Sinulog reaped an income of P12 million, were not yet final and official.

“We’re still accounting the expenses that came after February 15. By March 31, everything spent for the Sinulog was accounted for. After March 31, that’s the time we will be conducting the audit. The P12-million they presented was just an initial and not official (figure),” he said.

Osmena in a press briefing on April 12 (Thursday), dropped hints that finances of the SFI during the past years were mishandled by showing 12-million income that the SFI earned this year.

The mayor said that this was a 237 percent increase compared to the P3-million earned from last year’s Sinulog.

“It shows that there’s a lot of corruption last year. Simple. That’s the way I see it. How come we can make so much money when we take over? To me, that shows the previous years, daghan kaayong nakakwarta diha (a lot benefited from it),” Osmeña said.

But Ballesteros said that he met with the mayor on Friday to clarify things.

“I’m hoping Sinulog will not be put in a bad light especially for all the people behind its success. The Sinulog is a non-stock, non-profit organization. What we earn is what we spend. I’m afraid if the income is huge this year, nobody will be willing to donate to the SFI anymore,” he said.

But while he would be stepping down as SFI executive director, Ballesteros said he would remain as the Cebu City Sports commissioner.

He also said that it would be up to the SFI board of directors to choose, who would replace him as executive director.

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