Sofitel threatens to stop use of debate venue over Comelec sponsor's ₱14M debt

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 21) — The last stretch of the debates organized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) may face cancellation if the poll body's sponsor Impact Hub Manila fails to settle its unpaid dues to Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila worth ₱14 million.

The debates are set for April 23 and 24.

A demand letter dated April 20, which was made available to the media on Thursday, stated that Philippine Plaza Holdings Inc. (PPHI) - the owner of the hotel - has yet to receive complete payment as a venue partner for the Pilipinas Debate 2022.

Impact Hub Manila, the group behind Vote Pilipinas, is Comelec's partner and sponsor for the debates.

Under the deal between the two parties, Impact Hub Manila committed to pay PPHI a total of ₱20.595 million in four tranches from March 16 to April 20.

However, it alleged that Impact Hub Manila failed to complete the payments as some of the postdated checks it provided "were dishonored upon presentment due to insufficient funds."

"Thus, unless our client is paid the full outstanding balance of ₱14,095,000.00 in either cash or through credit card by 12nn tomorrow, our client will be constrained to suspend all its remaining deliverables under the event contract," the letter read.

"Considering the massive technical set-up required for the upcoming debates, our client is now facing very tight schedules, as it is unable to make any deployments due to your non-fulfillment of payment obligations," it added.

CNN Philippines has reached out to Impact Hub Manila for comments.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Melissa Lopez contributed to this report.