BAGUIO

Private sector’s help eyed in strawberry fest

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The local government unit (LGU) of Benguet’s capital is considering the involvement of the academe, businessmen and private groups to better stage the annual Strawberry Festival.

Mayor Romeo Salda said the current Strawberry Festival Executive Committee, the lead organizing body of the festival, comprised of the local government, members from the Municipal Council, the municipal tourism officer and tourism council chair, with the vice-mayor as co-chair and chief executive as the chairman.

Salda added the inclusion of other members would entail amendment of the current municipal ordinance. For this year’s celebration, the town will still handle activities and events of the festival.

The mayor added he is open to gathering recommendations from other sectors to help improve the celebration.

From a simple town fiesta paying tribute to its patron saint, Saint Joseph, the celebration started to evolve in 1981 and was named “panaspulan.” In later years, it developed and began showcasing the different products from every barangay as well as strawberries as the One-Town, One-Product of the town.

The local government noted the strawberry economy of the town generates millions of pesos from different by-products such as wine, jam and ice cream, among others.

Municipal Tourism Officer Valred Olsim said preparations continue for the 2020 festival with institutionalized activities such as strawberry lane, strawberry trade fair, civic parades, and drum and lyre competition or the “duting tan dukto.”


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