BAGUIO CITY – The City Council is currently studying a proposed resolution reverting to the local government the lead role in the preparations and management of the 2018 Baguio flower festival otherwise known as Panagbenga.
The resolution authored by Councilor Elmer O. Datuin stated that it is the policy of the city, as the Summer Capital of the Philippines and premier tourist destination, to take the initiative, provide support, and coordinate efforts and resources in the development and implementation of tourism-related activities.
Originally, the Panagbenga or Baguio flower festival was organized by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the John Hay Poro Point Development Corporation (JPDC) to sustain the influx of visitors to the city during the lean tourism months and the City government has always been a co-sponsor of the city’s crowd drawing event from its inception up to its current status as one of the internationally-recognized festivals in the country.
“There is a need to return to the City Government of Baguio the management of the flower festival for the city to engage in a more active role in planning, organizing and managing the said event,” Datuin stated.
Earlier, the Panagbenga was managed by the city from 2003 to 2005 until the lead role in the preparations for the flower festival was turned over to the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFFI) by virtue of Resolution No. 294, series of 2005.
Resolution No. 138, series of 2002 was passed requesting the BFFFI to designate the City Mayor was overall chairman of the Panagbenga Executive Committee in line with the desire of the local government to henceforth take the lead role in the preparations of the flower festival festivities.
The resolution expressed the local government’s gratitude to BFFFI for successfully conducting the Panagbenga for the previous years which made it as one of the most attended festivals in the country and which also reaped various national and international recognition over the past years.
The local government intends to take over the management of the flower festival by 2018 to sustain the crowd-drawing event to lift up the city’s tourism industry.
Panagbenga has been branded as the most peaceful and orderly festival in the country by international and national media practitioners who had been covering the various festivals in the different parts of the global village over the past several years.
Datuin expressed optimism that there will be a sustained partnership between the local government and the city’s private sector in the future staging of the various activities lined up for the future editions of Panagbenga to uphold the developed partnership between government and the private sector that had been enhanced over the past several decades.
By Dexter A. See