THE municipal government of Moises Padilla will not participate in the 24th Panaad sa Negros Festival which will kick off on April 22, at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City.
Negros Occidental Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator Ma. Lina Sanogal, who is the festival executive director, said the information was relayed to her by the Provincial Tourism Office during their final briefing at the Provincial Capitol Thursday morning.
Sanogal said they have yet to receive a formal communication from the municipal government.
They will not open their pavilion, too, she said, adding that Moises Padilla has not signed up for any event thus, “they have no participation.”
Sanogal said all documents, including the application forms for participation, needed a signature from Moises Padilla Mayor Magdaleno Peña.
She said it’s hard to speculate, but it looks like the municipal government has boycotted Panaad. She said it is the “first time” this happened.
There is no boycott before from any local government unit regardless of their political affiliation.
“In the previous years, even if there’s intense rivalry among our officials, the Panaad was not affected. Panaad has always been apolitical. It is the reason why we’re winning awards. We really feel sad if they will boycott the festival,” Sanogal said.
Asked on the reaction of Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., Sanogal said Marañon asked if the Capitol has extended the financial assistance to the municipal government.
Sanogal said each local government unit can avail of P170,000 assistance from the Capitol as long as they will participate in five events during the festival.
Sanogal is appealing to Peña to join the festival, which is for all the Negrenses.
She said Moises Padilla is one of the poorest localities in the province and it needs more exposure for its economic gains.
“With Panaad, the people will be exposed to different competitions. It will also level up their talents and abilities,” Sanogal added.
Aside from Moises Padilla, the City Government of La Carlota will not also join Panaad this year as it coincides with its Pasalamat Festival, but they will open their pavilion, Sanogal said.
Sanogal said the new attraction in this year’s festival is the bamboo village.
“We hope to promote bamboo as a major investment area in the province,” Sanogal said.
She said that more participants are expected to join the festival this year.
More than 300 policemen will be deployed to the venue to ensure tight security, Operations of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office Deputy Director Ervin Provido said.