Home / Community Roundup / An Open Letter to the Filipino Centre Toronto (FCT) Executive Officers and Board of Directors

An Open Letter to the Filipino Centre Toronto (FCT) Executive Officers and Board of Directors


The purpose of this letter is to follow up with the current FCT Executive Officers and Board of Directors (FCT Officers) on engaging a Third-Party Independent Financial Auditor to audit the years 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Following the Jan 2017 sale of the 595 Parliament, Toronto FCT office building for $5.9 million, the FCT Officers revealed to its members the existence of a number of substantial financial obligations requiring settlement.

During the Annual General Meetings (AGM) and in multiple petition letters by concerned members, the FCT Officers have repeatedly been asked for complete disclosures and explanations regarding those disbursements. In the process, a motion from membership was raised to have a Third-Party Independent Auditor do a complete and objective evaluation of the accounting records, governance, and financial reporting. Accordingly, that member motion was carried and approved in the October 2018 AGM.

To date, no such audit has been conducted. The FCT Officers have merely arranged for a limited “Review Engagement” which is NOT an official Third-Party Independent Audit as motioned for and approved in the October 2018 AGM. Moreover, there have been no Financial Statements yet finalized for 2016, 2017 and 2018 for the members to review and approve.

There are three reasons for the Third-Party Independent Audit, namely:

  1. To assure the members that FCT’s finance is in line with proper and standard accounting practices.
  2. To ensure that FCT’s financial operations are in compliance with its constitution and bylaws.
  3. To confirm that FCT is operating within the spirit and guidelines governing a non-profit corporation.

Interestingly, since its inception in 2002, and despite past legal cases involving its finances, FCT has yet to benefit from a Third-Party Independent Audit. 

To safeguard the independence and validity of a Third-Party Independent Audit, the following need to be in place:

  1. Membership is to be represented in the selection committee for the Third-Party auditor.
  2. Membership is to be represented in defining the scope and requirements of the audit.
  3. Membership is to be briefed after the audit by the Third-Party Independent Auditor on its findings and recommendations in a designated AGM or Special
    Membership Meeting.

It is incumbent on the FCT Officers to fulfill its sworn duty of financial accountability and transparency. This is core to its governance responsibility.
The FCT membership and the community at large for some time now have been aware of questions and issues concerning the financial affairs of the FCT after the sale of its building property.  An Independent Third-Party Financial Audit as motioned by its membership, would objectively address lingering questions and effectively put outstanding concerns to rest.

Likewise, the FCT Officers may study the findings and recommendations resulting from the Third-Party Independent Financial Audit, and reference them appropriately for financial control improvements, and even for potential constitution and bylaws amendments.
Many members enjoin the FCT Officers to take this opportunity to reach a final closure to outstanding issues relative to its finances and governance. Let the Third-Party Independent Audit be done, and from there start fresh.

Concerned members expect no less from the current FCT Officers.


*For details, please contact Maria Corazon J De Villa at coradevs@gmail.com

Related News: https://www.atinitonews.com/2022/09/is-fct-filipino-centre-toronto-board-in-denial/

Publisher’s Note: The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the writer’s.  Atin Ito welcomes any reactions, any other relevant information and submissions from all interested parties regarding the contents of this article.  Please email us at info@AINewsMediaOne.com.


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