BAGUIO CITY 7 – City officials and organizers of the annual staging of the Panagbenga, popularly known as the Baguio flower festival, underscored that the month-long festivities is not a virtual fund raising event contrary to the perception of a number of individuals and groups that it is an income-generating activity of the foundation.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan, who chairs, the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc.(BFFFI), pointed out whatever the foundation generates from solicitations from sponsors and income derived from the month-long Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition and the week-long Session road in Bloom are being used to bankroll other activities of the festival, including the subsidies granted to participating landscapers and streetdance performers among other events lined up for the flower festival.
If there are remaining resources spared from the different income-generating activities, he added that the same is being used for the various corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects of the foundation like feeding programs among other similar activities to bring back the support of the people through different events in the city’s barangays.
“We would like to remove the perception of some of us that the Panagbenga is a fund raising event. Panagbenga is Panagbenga which is primarily geared towards uplifting the city’s tourism industry to a higher level,” Domogan stressed.
He added the foundation continues to look into the possibility of sustaining the increases in the subsidies provided to the participants of the different events, aside from the cash prizes offered to the participants of the grand streetdancing and grand float parades, among other major events, to entice more individuals and groups to actively participate.
According to him, part of the resources generated by the foundation were allocated to increase the subsidies provided by the foundation to the landscapers and the participants to the grand streetdancing parade.
He claimed the foundation is considering further increasing the monetary benefits for stakeholders in next year’s silver edition of the Panagbenga.
Moreover, the BFFFI is also lobbying the city government to increase the P4 million annual subsidy so that the principle of government-led and community supported festival will remain and could be elevated to a higher level of partnership.
The flower festival, founded in 1995, to provide an attraction in the city during the lean tourism months to sustain its being one of the premier tourist destinations in the country which now is increasingly accessible especially with the near completion of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).
By Dexter A. See