Eliciting alliances and partnerships: a festival post-mortem

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Monday, March 17, 2014


LET me take this opportunity as chairman of the Executive Committee of the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, to extend my thanks and acknowledgment to the City of Baguio and all stakeholders and partners in bringing a successful Panagbenga Flower Festival for 2014.

Our collective and collaborative efforts, contribution and hard work have paid off and we look forward to a more vibrant, more colourful and more exciting Panagbenga next year as we celebrate the 20 years of festival excellence.

The festival has been made fruitful and possible through partnership with the City Government, Officials and employees and organizers who worked side by side with the private sector and other stakeholders, including the different working and standing committees; the Secretariat and staff; for the dedication and participation of our schools and universities, for our dear resilient and passionate teachers and talented students who have given their best to the festivities – their parents who have painstakingly stood by them to make this SEASON OF BLOOMING, also a time for sharing and a time for strengthening bonds and a joyous celebration.
Thank you to all of our corporate, business and media partners, sponsors and supporters; to our dedicated police, medical, fire and security personnel for ensuring peace and order. To all of our indefatigable volunteers and marshals, and the community of Baguio and all those unknown to us who played a vital role in making our event a wonderful experience for all: Thank you.

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Words will never do justice. We enjoin you to continue your support by giving us your comments and suggestions. Surely, the biggest room in the world is improvement and we encourage all of you in making sure that our 20th is grander, better and much more improved than this year's festivities.

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With the successful staging of this year’s Panagbenga, I’m sure that several interested parties are going to harp again on the Foundation’s financials (i.e. bottomline).

Let me just point out that the financial statements of the Foundation follow the fiscal year and not upon conclusion of the festival.

The financial statements will be made available upon closing of the books on June 30, and will be the subject of external and independent audit before it is submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission, upon which the said documents will become publicly available for your viewing pleasure. Like any other registered organization, we follow a process of being subject to an independent audit.

It is what proper Corporate Governance is all about.

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The Panagbenga Flower Festival is celebrating 20 years in 2015. I just hope that with an institutionalized event such as this, securing approval from the City Council shouldn’t entail pulling teeth.

In the first place, when you have already institutionalized the celebration of a festival of this magnitude, there should no longer be an issue at all on the use of several venues in the city. This is expected.

When you pledge support to a public and private partnership, it shouldn't have to be onerous and adversarial and should never be used for political grandstanding by ambitious politicians and wannabes to take cheap shots at the event at the expense of the organizers.

We must all agree that the festival has survived this long because of the consistent delivery of an event that encourages partnership and community involvement.

The local government provides a suitable environment for festival growth and not impedes it, and let the stakeholders do their tasks and responsibilities to ensure swift execution of its mission and objectives.

We learn this basic tenet of leadership to provide autonomy and empowerment to those whom you choose to lead. The people are best served by the government when it is least governed.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 18, 2014.

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