Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson approved the request of Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Benitez to utilize the Capitol properties for the Masskara Festival activities in October.
Benitez, in a letter request dated September 20, asked Lacson for the free use of the Paglaum Sports Complex and the North and South Capitol roads for the different activities of the annual festival of the city.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II said the governor immediately approved the request of the mayor.
The Capitol-owned Paglaum Sports Complex will be the venue for the Masskara Arena Competition and the closing ceremony on October 22.
The city government also requested the use of the two roads surrounding the Capitol complex from October 19 to 22 to establish the Lacson Tourism Strip during the festivities.
"By closing these roads temporarily to vehicular traffic, we can create a vibrant pedestrian-friendly space that will attract both locals and tourists," Benitez said.
The mayor also requested the provincial government "to reinforce its manpower for critical aspects of the festival's organization, specifically for deploying personnel from the province to assist the General Services Office, Security, and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO).
Diaz earlier said that it is asking the Bacolod Yuhum Foundation, organizers of the Masskara Festival, to acknowledge the provincial government as a sponsor for such use of Capitol properties for free.
Meanwhile, Bacolod City Administrator Pacifico Maghari III said Diaz has relayed the approval of the request, and they are now facilitating all the needs for the venues requested by the foundation.
"Upon receipt of the letter from the mayor, the governor will just approve whatever request. Then we can work with the foundation's working team and Capitol's working team,” he said.
He added, "Since there’s a process of accreditation, we need to follow the protocol; it should be local government unit (LGU) to LGU transactions, and the foundation is not accredited with the province.”