More austere Araw ng Dabaw

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/11 March) – Preparations are underway for the 74th Araw ng Dabaw celebration on March 16 but the city government has cut by more one-half the amount allocated for the same celebration last year, the city information office said Friday.

Giovanni Aportadera, officer-in-charge of the City Information Office (CIO), told MindaNews that the city government  has allocated P3.9 million for this year’s  three-day celebration compared to P7 million for the week-long celebration last year.

Aportadera said the city government has tapped the private sector to handle the celebration as Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio wanted to spend more on basic social services and other government programs.

“Like the Mutya ng Dabaw, which used to be handled by the concerned agency in the city, it is now being handled by the private sector but the city government still oversees it,” he said over the phone.

Unlike in the previous celebrations, Aportadera said the mayor will entrust the success of the coming 74th Araw ng Dabaw on the private sector.

He added the mayor has asked the private sector to give their best in the joint effort.

The mayor, he said, has ordered the previous weeklong celebration trimmed to just three days, from March 14 to March 16, the city’s founding anniversary.

But despite the budget cut and shortened celebration, nothing has changed in the usual major activities of the celebration, he clarified.

Among the major events are  Sayawan sa Da’an (street dancing), Parada Dabawenyo, Banda Hudyaka, Pakonsiyerto ni Mayor, Kaon ta Day, Lingaw Ta Bai ug Mutya ng Dabaw 2011.

Aportadera said several minor events organized by different sectors are being held in various parts of the city. (Keith Bacongco/MindaNews)