BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan announced that the local government and the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. (BFFFI) were able to select a private partner that will handle the conduct of the 38-day Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition that will be held around the Burnham Park skating rink from February 1 to March 10, 2018.
The local chief executive said that last year’s Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition organizer Maribel Chagwaten bested four other interested organizers to the right to handle the same event which is one of the major traditional events lined up for the 24th edition of Panagbenga popularly known as the Flower Festival.
Chagwaten submitted a bid of P13.4 million that will accrue to the local government and the BFFFI for the handling of this year’s Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition considering the much wider spaces and increase in the number of stalls that will be leased out to the interested exhibitors during the Panagbenga season.
“We have to understand that the Baguio Blooms Exhibition and Exposition is an event spearheaded by the local government and the BFFFI and what is being subjected to bidding is the private partner who will be the one to undertake the traditional activity that has been going on through the years,” Domogan stressed.
Earlier, the local government and the BFFFI subjected the conduct of the Baguio Blooms Exhibition and Exposition to a public bidding to get from interested private partners the best offer that will result in the sustained improvement of the offerings in the activity that is geared towards the promotion of flower-inspired crafts and arts among others.
Domogan disclosed that among the additional conditions that were imposed by the local government and the BFFFI to the private partner is the hiring of some 15 security guards who will be in charge of ensuring the security of the products and the exhibitors as we all as the public who will be frequenting the area and 15 additional street sweepers who will ensure the round the clock cleanliness in the place during the duration of the activity.
He said that the City Engineering Office prepared the layout of the 280 stalls with a measurement of 4 meters by 3 meters and with allowable distance of at least 4 meters between the stalls to ensure the smooth movement of residents and visitors who will be frequenting the exhibit area to patronize the crafts and products that will be displayed by the exhibitors.
The annual Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition is one of the income-generating activities that is lined up by the organizers to serve as an added source of funds that could help in defraying the expenses for the cash prizes that will be provided the winners of the different contests that are part of the city’s major crowd drawing events.
For this year, Domogan claimed organizers decided to significantly increase the cash prizes of major activities that have been lined up for the flower festival such as the grand street dancing parade and the grand float parade and the subsidies that will be provided to the participating schools and landscapers to further entice increased participation to the different flower festival events.
Panagbenga is the only festival in the country that is included in the elite list of festivals in the world that form part of the International Festivals Association.
By Dexter A. See
Banner photo by Armando M. Bolislis