BAGUIO CITY – Organizers of the 24th edition of the Panagbenga, popularly known as the Baguio Flower Festival, are increasing the cash prizes of major events and the subsidies of participating schools to encourage greater participation of the stakeholders in the different events lined up for the 38-day festivities.
Winners of the big float category will be bringing home P500,000 for the first placer, P300,000 for the second placer and P200,000 for the third placer while winners for the small float category will be receiving P300,000 for the first placer, P200,000 for the second placer and P100,000 for the third placer.
In terms of subsidy to the participating landscapers in the landscaping competition, each of the 16 landscapers already received P42,000 subsidy from the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. (BFFFI) which will be separate from the cash prizes that will be earmarked for the said contest.
Freddie Alquiros, a BFFFI member, said the foundation approved the grant of P60,000 subsidy to each of the participating elementary contingents in the grand streetdancing parade which will be over and above the P40,000 subsidy that each of the schools will be receiving from the local government.
He clarified that the subsidy from the foundation will be directly given to the students while the subsidy from the local government will be given to the schools.
“We want to make sure stakeholders fully participate that is why we will continue to work on increasing the prizes for the major competitions to entice greater involvement from different institutions inside and outside the city,” Alquiros stressed.
He explained the subsidy for the students and the schools will also be over and above the cash prizes earmarked for the grand streetdancing parade where the champion in the elementary level will be receiving P250,000, the second placer will be getting P200,000 and the third placer will be going home with P150,000.
In the secondary level, Alquiros announced the foundation also approved the grant of P50,000 subsidy to each of the participating contingents in the grand streetdancing parade so that more public and private secondary institutions will be encouraged to join the competition and showcase their performances before the thousands of spectators who will gather along the parade route and at the Baguio Athletic Bowl where the activity will end up.
He attributed the decision to increase some of the cash prizes and the subsidies to the stable corporate and individual sponsorships aside from the expected increased income to be generated from the income-generating events of the flower festival like the Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition and the Session Road in Bloom, among others.
The Panagbenga secretariat will be coming out with the final number of participants to the different competitions a week before the scheduled activities as there are still more considering groups wanting to join the different competitions.
By Dexter A. See
Banner photo on file by: Joseph B. Manzano