By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has approved the request of Bacolod City mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez for the free use of several properties of the provincial government as venues of activities for this year’s MassKara Festival.
This, after Benitez formally wrote the governor in observance of protocols between local government units.
A copy of the approved letter showed that Benitez requested the free use of the Paglaum Sports Complex on October 22, 2023 to host the MassKara arena competition and the closing ceremony of the festivities.
The mayor also requested the use of the north and south capitol roads from October 19-22, 2023 for the Lacson Tourism Strip.
He said that by closing these roads temporarily to vehicular traffic “we can create a vibrant and pedestrian-friendly space that will attract both locals and tourists.”
Benitez also wrote, “In addition, we are also requesting that the use of these venues’ utilities be free of charge.”
The mayor also requested the capitol’s assistance in reinforcing manpower for critical aspects of the festival’s organization specifically for deploying personnel from the province to assist with the General Services Office, Security and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
“As the MassKara approaches, we are eagerly preparing to celebrate the world-renowned event with utmost enthusiasm,” Benitez said in his letter.
Earlier, provincial administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz told the Bacolod Yuhum Foundation Inc., to observe protocol in its request to use provincial government properties for MassKara festival activities next month.
He said that the group handed him a letter requesting the use of the Paglaum Sports Complex as the venue for the MassKara Festival arena street dancing competition.
But Diaz said that the formal letter should come from Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez as protocol dictates.
By protocol, it should be the mayor of Bacolod who will write a formal letter to the governor, Diaz reiterated.