BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan wants the crafting of a ‘win-win’ solution on which between the local government and the private organizer, the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. (BFFFI), will spearhead the 23rd staging of the Panagbenga or the Baguio flower festival following proposals for the city to takeover the handling of the city’s major crowd-drawing event.
The local chief executive said that as soon as the concerned City Council committee shall have finalized its report on the recently concluded public hearing on the matter, he will initiate the necessary dialogue among the concerned stakeholders to thresh out the issues on the handling of the major activities that will be lined up for the prestigious flower festival.
“We will not allow the agenda of certain quarters to shatter the gains of the panagbenga which is now one of the major crowd drawing events in the country, thus, the need for concerned stakeholders to come together and objectively look into the matter so as not to prejudice the conduct of the month-ong festival next year,” Domogan stressed.
Earlier, Councilor Peter Fianza, chairman of the local legislative body’s committee on education, culture and historical research, said they are still on the process of collating the suggestions and recommendations from those who participated in the public hearing and that they will come out with the final report on the matter the soonest.
Domogan explained that the local government will be allowed to handle the conduct of certain activities while the BFFFI will also be authorized to handle some of the major crowd-drawing events in recognition of the vital contribution of the private sector for the successful staging of the month-long festivities through the past 22 years that the flower festival had existed.
According to him, there is a need to sustain the identity of the Panagbenga as a community-led and government-supported festival to showcase the strong partnership between the city’s private and government sectors and not to simply shut the city’s doors on the private sector from actively endeavouring to help in the successful conduct of the major flower festival events.
He reminded the concerned stakeholders that the emergence of Panagbenga was through the efforts of the private sector which was through the John Hay Poro Point Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), thus, it would be unfair for the local government to simply sideline the private sector in the staging of the various Panagbenga events simply because of different opinions on how the financial statement of the flower festival organizers should be presented to dis-abuse the minds of certain officials that there had been anomalies in the previous conduct of the festival by the private organizers.
He urged the concerned committee to provide him the copy of its final report so that he will discuss the matter with the BFFFI and for concerned stakeholders to come together and put an end to the repeated problems that keep cropping up whenever the flower festival will be concluded and when it is time for the organizers to submit its financial statement and post-activity report. /By Dexter A. See