BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored that public-private partnership (PPP) is still the best way for the annual conduct of the Panagbenga or the Baguio flower festival, the city’s internationally recognized crowd-drawing event, to ensure its sustainability as a must-see event in the country.
The local chief executive reminded stakeholders that it is the private sector that started and nurtured the flower festival until it was able to gain international recognition that is why there is a need for the local government to give the necessary recognition to the efforts of the private sector in effectively and efficiently handling the events for the month-long festivities.
He explained the conduct of the 23rd edition of the Panagbenga from February 1 to March 4, 2018 will be a balance of the major events to be handled by the local government and the private sector as has been traditionally practised even under the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. (BFFFI).
“We have to give the private sector an important role in the handling of the major events lined up for the flower festival next year because the said sector had been our partner even since the flower festival was conceptualized, developed, implemented and nurtured over the past two decades,” Domogan stressed.
He emphasized the duties and responsibilities of both the representatives of the local government and the private sector in the Panagbenga executive and working committees have been clearly defined under the amended administrative orders he issued to illustrate the synergy between the local government and the private sector in overseeing the activities for Panagbenga 2018.
While there are certain individuals given specific duties and responsibilities, Domogan assured the public is invited to submit their suggestions and recommendations on how to further improve the staging of the traditional events as well as other community-led activities that will contribute in enticing more foreign and domestic visitors to visit the city and witness the different festival events next year.
He asserted that the local government will not allow vested interests of certain individuals and groups to prevail in the conduct of the various events of the festival because what matters should be the interest of the people of the city who are supposed to reap the fruits of the staging of the flower festival.
In 1995, lawyer Damaso Bangaoet, father of the Panagbenga, who was then the vice president of the John Hay Poro Point Development Corporation (JPDC), a subsidiary of the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), was looking for an event that will draw people to flock to the city during lean tourism months until the flower festival was organized considering that the month of February is the time when flowers in neighboring towns of Benguet blossom.
Domogan named the festival Panagbenga which is a Kankana-ey term for the blossoming of flowers that is suitable for the event since it was done in time for the blossoming of flowers.
By Dexter A. See