October 08, 2006

Politics mar planned transfer of Burgos fiesta date

Burgos, Ilocos Norte—The proposed transfer of the date of the Burgos town fiesta and naming it as Gamet (Nori/Sushi) Festival has apparently been marred by politics as the committee report calling for such filed at the Sangguniang Bayan was declared a “dead motion” following a voting of four in favor, none against and five abstaining.

In the said report, the Burgos fiesta is supposed to be rescheduled from the last week of March to February 17-21.

Burgos Councilor Joegie B. Jimenez, main proponent of the said ordinance, later delivered a privilege speech questioning the ruling of the council presiding officer as he also expressed his dismay to his colleagues who abstained when a motion for adoption and approval of the said ordinance was called.

Based on the minutes of the Sangguniang Bayan session, the five council members who abstained explained that they were not present during the scheduled public hearing, hence they preferred to abstain during the voting.

Local residents earlier approved the change in the date of the town’s fiesta during the public hearing conducted. However they requested that the celebration be shortened because they wanted to set a date for Balikbayan Day.

The proposed measure seeks to transfer the date of the fiesta celebration because of the following reasons: there had been no fixed date for the celebration due to the Lenten Season; the usual date, which is on the last week of March, has no significance whatsoever; and in the absence of other significant date, the proponent said that it would be more proper to celebrate the town fiesta beginning February 17 in honor of the late Fr. Jose Burgos, from who the municipality was named after. February 17 is the date of the death of the martyred hero.

The proposal also seeks to integrate the Gamet Festival in the fiesta celebration, which is being promoted as an alternative livelihood for local residents.

On September 8, 2006, the said draft ordinance was presented to the general public during a public hearing and was unanimously approved by the different barangay officials, heads of offices and agencies, and non-government organizations (NGOs) in the municipality.

However, they also requested that the proposed five-day celebration be shortened to three days.

Leilanie G. Adriano

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