By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
A GROUP composed of Ilonggo business personalities will head the Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. (ICFFI), the new group that will handle the annual Dinagyang Festival.
As opposed to previous announcements that businessman Rogelio Florete will lead the group as chairperson, another businessman, Rito Carlos Peña has been tapped as chairperson.
Florete will serve in the board of directors alongside fellow businessmen Philipp Chua, Honorato Espinosa, Molly Grande, Jose Marie Layson, John Alexander Que, Allan Ryan Tan, and Luis Tinsay.
IFFI’s vice chairman is Felipe Uygongco while Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Iloilo Chapter President Jobert Peñaflorida will serve as president.
Meanwhile, Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival organizer Dr. Ronald Raymon Sebastian is the IFFI vice president, together with Angel de Leon, Jr., (corporate secretary), Roland Uy (treasurer) and Ivy Gurrea (assistant treasurer).
The group already met with Mayor Jerry Treñas last week to lay down initial plans on the much-anticipated tourism event of the city – the Dinagyang Festival 2020 in January.
The newly-formed group will hold a Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting at Ker Building on July 19, 2019 to brainstorm new activities and lay the foundation of the upcoming Dinagyang 2020.
While the people were personally handpicked by lone district Rep. and Mayor-elect Jerry Treñas, he said that the ranking of the officers were decided by the members themselves.
Treñas had decided to replace the long-time organizer of the Dinagyang Festival
Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI) with the new IFFI.
In previous interviews, he admitted that he had difficulties working with IDFI.
He has also said in previous interviews that the new group also received one instruction from him, and that that is to ensure that the new foundation would be apolitical.
“Akon man lang ginbilin sa ila nga importante nga wala sang pulitika and they will just handle the festival, para lang sa festival and do away with politics,” he said in previous interviews.