By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
ILOILO Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI), the long-time organizer of the Dinagyang Festival, will soon be replaced by new Iloilo City Festivals Foundation Inc. (ICFF), according to lone district congressman and Mayor-elect Jerry Treñas.
In an interview on Tuesday, Treñas confirmed that the ICFF will be the new partner of the city government in organizing the yearly tourism event.
Treñas admitted that he had difficulties working with IDFI even as he recalled past incidents that were seen as politically-motivated.
“Well, bal-an ta naman nga medyo mabudlay sa aton magwork sa ila and indi lang man to about sa incident concerning one of its (IDFI) officials but it goes before that kay di bala wala ko nila gani maimbatar sang nagligad,” he lamented.
To recall, Treñas confronted IDFI vice president Marissa Segovia over their failure to invite him to the 2019 Dinagyang Festival. The confrontation happened after the meeting of the Iloilo Local Economic Development Foundation in a hotel in Pavia, Iloilo in February 2019.
Immediately after the incident, Segovia tendered her irrevocable resignation from the IDFI.
Politics, especially his brother-in-law (bilas) and outgoing Mayor Jose Espinosa III, is seen as the main for the “Treñas snub.”
As of now, Treñas said they are finalizing the members of the new foundation.
“Meetingan pa kon sin-o ma-head because the members themselves will be choosing the head. As of now, we are finalizing the members,” he said.
The mayor-elect said he only has one instruction to the new foundation and that is “they will never engage in politics and ang tanan nga government officials imbitaron nila,” he said.
IDFI was established on April 13, 1988 principally to undertake the Dinagyang celebration and other culture and arts events and/or festivities in cooperation with the Iloilo City, the Department of Tourism and the Parish of San Jose de Placer.
In 2000, then Iloilo City Mayor Treñas institutionalized the tripartite setup which was strengthened by the strong collaboration between public and private entities leading to Iloilo Dinagyang Festival becoming a multi-awarded and world-class model for festival management.