BAGUIO CITY—Organizers of the 22nd Baguio Flower Festival or Panagbenga will work with a budget of P12 million to bankroll the activities lined up for the month-long festivities that would sustain the influx of more visitors and to help perk up the local tourism industry.
The Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. will raise P7 million to P8 million from the various income-generating activities and sponsors of the Panagbenga to sustain its the different events, said Anthony de Leon, co-chairman of the Panagbenga Executive Committee and president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio.
Meanwhile, the local government will use its P4-million subsidy specifically for the prizes of the winners of the different contests lined up for the duration of the festival, De Leon added.
By comparison, organizers of the Sinulog festival in Cebu spend more than P60 million for their weeklong festivities, while the Ati-Atihan in Iloilo costs at least P35 million to undertake. The Masskara festival in Bacolod City also has a budget of about P25 million.
The Panagbenga will kick off on Feb. 1, 2017 with the grand opening parade and the elimination round of the grand street-dancing parade for the elementary and secondary levels. The festival will run until March 5, 2017.
De Leon said the quality of the festival’s activities continues to improve significantly every year compared to the other big festivals in the country.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said his office is talking to Rep. Mark Go and the Tourism Department to allocate more funds that the BFFFI can use to defray the expenses of the organizers, guarantee more street-dancing delegations, and attract more companies to display their flower-decorated floats.
Organizers are thinking of increasing the prizes of the grand street dancing parade and the grand float parade to make these crowd-drawing events more, the mayor said. He admitted the P250,000 grand prize to the winning float actually cannot defray the costs of a Panagbenga float, which costs at least P500,000 for it to look competitive.
“We have to continue looking for available funds that could be used to augment our available budget for the staging of the Panagbenga, so that we will be able to generate greater participation from within and outside the region, especially among street dancing delegations, which is a major component of our flower festival,” Domogan said.
Both the mayor and De Leon are confident that participants of the different events will be able to maintain the quality of their activities for the benefit of Baguio’s residents and visitors.