BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan assured residents and visitors that the activities lined up for the 23rd edition of Panagbenga will be better and bigger because of the expected increased participation of the barangays, the education institutions, multinational and local corporations, especially in the highlights of the flower festival.
The local chief executive said for the grand opening parade on February 1, 2018, there will be 11 contingents from the elementary level who will be participating in the elimination round for the grand streetdancing parade aside from the 14 contingents from the city’s 128 barangays which will provide entertainment and added attractions right at the start of the festivities.
Of the 11 elementary contingents, 8 schools will be chosen to participate in the grand streetdancing competition which will be conducted on Saturday, February 24, 2018wherein there will be participants from both the secondary and tertiary schools in the city apart from other visiting streetdancing contingents.
He added Panagbenga organizers are also intending to invite marching bands from either Cavite, Pangasinan or the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), to join the marching bands of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), St. Louis University (SLU) and other schools in the city to spice up the highlights of the festival.
On the other hand, Domogan claimed more participants are expected to join the month-long festivities because of the significant increase in the cash prizes for the winners of the grand streetdancing parade and the grand float parade apart from the grant of additional subsidy for the participating contingents and the landscapers.
Domogan revealed that the cash prize for the champion in the grand streetdancing parade will be receiving P400,000 compared to the P150,000 cash prize during the previous years while the declared winner in the grand float parade will receive P500,000 cash prize. The cash prizes for the other winners in the twin parades were also adjusted to attract the participation of more delegations and corporations.
Moreover, he revealed that the P20,000 subsidy being provided to the streedancers will also be increased to P40,000 per contingent while there will also be a significant increase in the subsidy for participants to the landscaping competition.
The Panagbenga Executive Committee was already able to award the concessionaire for the conduct of the month-long Baguio Blooms and Expositions which will be conducted at the Burnham Lake Drive and Juan Luna Drive and the participating landscapers, who will be occupying their designated spaces for free, are now doing the required preparatory works in time for the opening of the festival.
He explained that it will still be the receipts of the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. (BFFFI) which will be used for the whole duration of the festival while the local government is ready to disburse the P4 million for the cash prizes of the winners of the various competitions pursuant to existing accounting and auditing rules and regulations considering that it will still be the city that will manage the funds and that there will be no turnover of the funds to the foundation.
By Dexter A. See