PROMOTE CDO Foundation Inc. is reportedly allocating P3 million for this year’s fiesta celebration dubbed “Kagay-an Festival” in honor of patron St. Augustine on August 28.

Ruben A. Vegafria, Promote CDO president, said this year’s budget is much lesser compared with last year’s P4 million.

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“The amount gathered by Promote CDO has not even reached our quota since sponsors now are also tightening their budget due to the financial crisis,” Vegafria said.

Though with a much lesser budget compared last year, he said they would not sacrifice the “quality” of the celebration and will instead lessen on the “collateral or production cost and materials such as transportation and meals” to their volunteer staff.

In 2009, Vegafria said Promote CDO turned over P500,000 to the city treasury, which he said is a “very tangible benefit that will help the city with the collateral.”

Promote CDO Foundation Inc. has been the City Government’s partner in promoting Cagayan de Oro as an investment and tourism destination since 2007.

In February 2007, the City Council passed Ordinance 10514-2007, which granted Promote CDO Foundation Inc. the exclusive right to manage and operate the city’s fiesta celebration effective August 2007 without cost to the City Government.

Under the ordinance, 30 percent of the proceeds that Promote CDO would get from the celebration would be remitted to the city’s coffers.

Vegafria said Promote CDO handles the different events for the fiesta, which has really helped in “aiding financial matters.”

Before, he said the city spent around P6 million for the fiesta celebration “without income in return.”

This year, Vegafria said among the major core events lined up for the Kagay-an

Festival include the Higa-onon Dance Festival, Lambagohan Fluvial Parade,

Kahimunan Mindanao Island Fair, Festival of Rhythmic Dances, Golden Float

Parade, Miss Kagay-an 2010 and “Dagan sa Kagay-an.”

“Last year, we really had a collateral damage due to rumors of threat from terrorism. Participants from other regions really backed out and we really suffered the worst. But we also learned from our experience,” he said. (NJM)