‘MassKara City’ no official fest event

BY MAE SINGUAY

BACOLOD City – Its name may be apt, but the “MassKara City” is not an official festival event, the Silver MassKara Festival Organization (SMFO) clarified.

SMFO director Eli Tajanlangit also stressed the 37th MassKara Festival from Oct. 1 to 23 has only three “festival sites,” or official venues: the public plaza, the New Government Center and the Tourism Strip on Lacson Street.
Organized by the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology, Inc. (BNEFIT), the MassKara City will be held on Oct. 19 to 21 at the Negros First CyberCentre.

The event involves exhibits and lectures on the business process outsourcing and ICT industries, and job fairs, among others.
The SMFO is the organization the city government officially tapped to run the annual festival.
As far as the SMFO is concerned, the MassKara City has “no permit” and the organization has no knowledge on any activity it involves.
Since the MassKara City is not part of the official festival activities, it is excluded from security plans laid out specifically for the MassKara Festival; its organizers are on their own, said Tajanlangit.
Tajanlangit admitted receiving an application for permit from the BNEFIT but said he could not sign it because the latter’s plans “run counter” to how the SMFO wants to handle official festival activities.
He said the SMFO received the application just last week, when all the festival activities were already in place.
The executive director of the BNEFIT said they wrote the SMFO, informing them about the MassKara City.
According to Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, the federation is willing to comply with the SMFO’s requirements.
But with the current development, Sigue said they may not need a permit to put up the MassKara City.
She recalled that when she was a city councilor, she authored an ordinance encouraging the private sector to hold activities during the MassKara Festival.
The MassKara City is a private undertaking, Sigue stressed. It is the BNEFIT’s “way of showing support to the city.” She also assured the venue is “very secure.”/PN