NEGROS Occidental Alfredo Marañon Jr. defended the decision of the provincial government to cancel this year’s staging of Mudpack Festival in Murcia town.
The festival is held annually by Capitol-run Mambukal Summer Resort.
During the festival, which is celebrated in the third weekend of June, the dancers are coated with mud from the resort.
The main theme of the festival is environment – there is a need to preserve the environment. The participants were encouraged to stay in harmony with Mother Nature by upholding conservation efforts.
The governor asked if who benefits from the Mudpack Festival or if there are people coming to celebrate the annual revelry or what kind of moral values it gives to the young people.
The governor explained that the Capitol is spending P600,000 for its annual staging when the funds could be used for a feeding program for the malnourished children in the province.
Earlier, Acting Provincial Administrator Lucille Gelvolea said the cancellation of the festival was due to the reduction of the province’s Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) by 23 percent this year, which also reduced the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) of the province – the amount was quite substantial.
The budget for the Mudpack is sourced from the MOOE.
Gelvolea explained that the provincial government preferred to prioritize other needs of Mambukal for its operations as the Mudpack Festival falls on a special event, Gelvolea said.
The Provincial Board earlier approved the P5 million budget for the Disaster Risk Reduction program of Mambukal Resort given the active seismic activities of Mount Kanlaon. This is to ensure the safety of those going to the resort and the community.
Safety first, then celebration.