BAGUIO CITY – The City Council is inviting concerned stakeholders in the city to actively participate in the upcoming public hearing on the management of the Panagbenga or the Baguio flower festival which is scheduled on August 24, 2017.
Councilor Peter Fianza, author of the resolution that called for the public hearing, explained that the primary intention of the measure is to get the sentiments of the concerned stakeholders on how to further improve the annual conduct of the Panagbenga to sustain the influx of more foreign and domestic visitors to our city during the month-long celebration.
Earlier, the local legislative body enacted an ordinance taking back the management of the annual staging of the Panagbenga from the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. to guarantee the transparent management of the city’s major crowd drawing event.
However, Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored the need to balance the interest of the local government and the founders of the flower festival to come out with a possible ‘win-win solution’ to the said issue which had time and again cropped up through the years.
Councilor Fianza added the public hearing also intends to generate inputs from the concerned stakeholders on their evaluation of the staging of the previous flower festivals and their recommendations and suggestions on how the organizers will continue to improve on the overall conduct of the events that will be lined up for the annual festivities to sustain the influx of foreign and domestic visitors to our city annually.
The city’s flower festival was founded by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the former John Hay Poro Point Development Corporation (JPDC) through the late lawyer Damaso Bangaoet to have a unique crowd drawing event for Baguio during the lean tourism months to help spur the growth of investments in the city in 1995.
He added even the current Panagbenga organizers are invited to actively participate in the public hearing for them to present potential innovations to the events that will be lined up for the annual flower festival so that people will be encouraged to visit the city during the month-long festivities because they know that there will always be new attractions of the flower festival.
Among the sectors that were invited for the August 24 Panagbenga management public hearing include representatives from the academe, business, transport, culture and arts advocates and the public for them to air their observations, recommendations and suggestions on how to further improve the conduct of the flower festival to cope with the fast changing times.
Fianza pointed out the information that will be gathered during the public hearing will be used by policy-makers and decision-makers in deciding the best that could be done in the management of the annual flower festival to sustain the influx of foreign and domestic tourists to the city in the future.
In 2003, the local government took over the management of the flower festival but it was later reverted to the foundation in 2006 after the emergence of the two festivals in 2005.
He said the annual conduct of the festival deserves a second look from independent sectors to help introduce he needed innovations that will spice up the festivities for the greater interest of the public.
By Dexter A. See