BAGUIO CITY – The city’s one hundred twenty eight barangays will be receiving from the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. (BFFFI) a total of P3.84 million as subsidy from the proceeds of the week-long Session road in Bloom (SRB) which will be used for the implementation of their programs, projects and activities geared towards the upliftment of the welfare of their constituents.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan explained that the grant of P30,000 subsidy to each of the city’s barangays was a decision that was reached by the foundation which spearheads the conduct of the week-long event that will represent their much bigger share from the SRB instead of them having to earn a maximum of |P2.17 million from the supposed lease of stalls in Lower Session road.
Earlier, the local legislative bgody approved the closure of Session road on March 4-10, 2019 to pave the way for the annual conduct of the SRB and directed all interested groups to participate in the said event to closely coordinate with the BFFFI which will be spearheading the activity, one of the major highlights of the Panagbenga or the Baguio flower festival.
Domogan added that the subsidy will be directly given by the foundation to the barangays in recognition of the important role of the barangays in the annual staging of the flower festival which has become an internationally recognized crowd drawing event.
“We value the important contribution of our barangays in the successful staging of the flower festival over the past several years that is why the foundation decided to sacrifice in increasing the subsidy which they could use for their programs, projects and activities. We decided that for this year, there will only be a single organizer for the Session Road in Bloom to prevent the repeat of previous problems that had transpired when there were different groups manning the said event,” Domogan stressed.
Session road, one of the city’s main thoroughfare, will be closed to vehicular traffic on March 4-10, 2019 to pave the way for its conversion into a virtual promenade area with the establishment of sidewalk cafes by interested establishments and the display of flower-inspired products among other souvenir items from the different parts of the country which is part of the annual attraction of the flower festival.
The Liga ng mga Barangay is eying the management of the stalls that will be established along Lower Session road as part of its fund raising effort wherein their will only be 62 stalls that will be made available in the area based on the design that was prepared by the foundation.
Domogan clarified that the annual conduct of the BFFFI is not actually intended for fund raising contrary to the perception of some sectors but it is one of the income-generating activities of the flower festival wherein the proceeds will be used to provide for the increase in subsidies and cash prizes of the different events of the month-long festivities and other corporate social responsibility projects of the BFFFI.
Instead of being able to earn a gross income of only P2.17 million from the lease rentals of the stalls along Lower Session road, he emphasized that the foundation went out of its way to increase the subsidy to the barangays to P30,000 each without even having to waste time, effort and resources in overseeing the stalls that will be established considering that it will be the BFFFI that will operate and manage the same for the benefit of the barangays./Dexter A. See