All systems go for Dinagyang 2020 as IFFI secures accreditation

(Photo Courtesy of June Dale Lozada)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

It’s all systems go for the staging of the highly-anticipated Dinagyang Festival 2020 following the approval of the accreditation of main festival organizer, Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI).

The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of the accreditation of the IFFI, which is composed of business leaders.

Councilor Eduardo Peñaredondo, who previously pointed out that the foundation cannot be accredited due to its lack of track record clarified that the guidelines issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) cannot be applied to IFFI since it is a newly-founded organization.

“At first, we were hesitant to accredit the IFFI because we were thinking that the association is required to submit minutes of the annual meetings immediately preceding year as certified by the organization’s secretary and the annual accomplishment report for the immediately preceding year,” he said.

Instead, he reiterated that the guidelines can only be applied to existing civic society organizations.

“As suggested by Councilor Mandrei Malabor and we have discussed it, the memorandum circular does not apply because it says here for existing civic society organization but IFFI is not an existing civic society organization, but a newly organized so this is impossible to comply because they have no annual meetings for one year, and also one accomplishment report for one year. This does not apply to them so they can qualify,” he stressed.

Peñaredondo said that it is high time to accredit IFFI since the city government already assured that the IFFI will not handle public funds.

“As a safety measure because funds of the city government will never be directly entrusted to them, so it is just high time we accredit them as soon as possible,” he said.

IFFI president Joebert Peñaflorida thanked the SP for its decision saying that the city government will directly disburse the P25-million budget for the Dinagyang Festival 2020.

“In behalf sang IFFI, our board of trustees, kita nagapasalamat gid sa city council headed by Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon. Ang IFFI amo na maga-manage sa Dinagyang 2020 but at the same time ang pondo ang city government ang ma-disbure sang P25 million nga na-approve ni mayor,” Peñaflorida said.

Aside from the accreditation, the SP also approved the resolution authorizing the city mayor to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the city of Iloilo, IFFI, and the parish of San Jose de Placer for the staging of the Dinagyang Festival 2020.

With the approval of both the accreditation of IFFI and the mayor’s authority to sign the MOA, Peñaflorida assured that they are all set for the staging of the world-famous festival.

“With this being settled and in the manner nga wala sang naga-object, all systems go ang Dinagyang 2020,” he said.

Meanwhile, Peñaflorida committed that the IFFI will also be doing its best to raise the equal amount of P25 million funding extended by the city government.

“Based on the MOA, IFFI on a best effort basis maga-raise man sang equal amount of P25 million for a total of P50 million budget for Dinagyang 2020,” he said.