NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. defended yesterday, June 13, the cancellation of the Mudpack Festival questioning the relevance of the celebration that is held annually at the Mambukal Summer Resort which is owned and managed by the Provincial Government.
He asked: "Who benefits from the Mudpack Festival? Are the people coming there? What are the moral values does it give to the young people? Are the young people replicate the values they got from it?”
He pointed out that the Provincial Government is spending P600,000 every year, adding that the fund could be used for a feeding program for the malnourished children in the province.
Based on promotional materials, the Mudpack Festival is held annually at Mambukal Resort and is celebrated in the third weekend of June.
The dancers are coated with mud from the resort. Away from the hype of the festival, one of the key issues that are addressed at the festival is the need to preserve the environment. Participants are encouraged to stay in harmony with Mother Nature by upholding conservation efforts.
The governor added: "Tell me what is good about Mudpack? Does it change the attitude of the people especially the youth?”
The cancellation of this year's festival was confirmed earlier by Provincial Administrator Lucille Gelvolea which she said was due to the reduction of the province’s Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) by 23 percent this year, which also led to the reduction of the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) which is quite substantial.
The budget for the Mudpack is sourced from the MOOE amounting to P600,000.
They preferred to prioritize the important needs of Mambukal for its regular operations wherein the Mudpack Festival falls on a Special Event, Gelvolea said.