Tabanda clarifies festival issues

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Monday, February 3, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Mayor Edna Tabanda clarified to the August body preparations for the upcoming Strawberry Festival in a bid to avoid misunderstanding between the legislative and executive branches.

Tabanda said the decision to tone down activities for the upcoming festival emanated from her but stressed the conduct of the celebrations will push through.

The local chief executive said during her visit to the local council last week, she has previously invited local aldermen in a meeting but was attended by few.

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Tabanda said during the meeting, an expansion of the executive committee was agreed upon including non-government organizations, women’s groups and village chiefs.

Tabanda cited a resolution by Councilor Roderick Awingan requesting her to be guided with the provisions of La Trinidad Strawberry Festival Ordinance.

Tabanda said the name of the festival has not been changed to ‘Panaspulan’ but was merely suggested during the meeting.

“These were all set to be presented to the local council, we did not have the intention of removing the name of the festival,” she said.

Awingan said the mayor has been conducting meetings with department heads and barangay captains for the past weeks but has yet to convene the executive committee of the festival itself, leaving the local council in the dark.

A year ago, Awingan authored and passed an ordinance making the annual festival an institutionalized event, detailing functions of each, ensuring its survival.

“It pains me that we were not consulted,” he said during the dialog with the mayor.

Awingan then urged Tabanda anew to call on the executive committee to help plan for the festival.

The festival is set to commence in March featuring top products of the 16 barangays of the town.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 04, 2014.

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