FACE-TO-FACE REVELRY. Davao City Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre, Kadayawan Festival 2022 spokesperson, said the local government is confident to earn back in taxes its investment for this year's festivity. In an interview Monday (July 11, 2022), he notes that Davao City is the first to hold a major festival in the country in a face-to-face setting the pandemic started. (PNA File Photo by Christine Cudis)

DAVAO CITY – The local government has expressed confidence in earning back the over PHP56 million budget for the upcoming Kadayawan Festival 2022, the first major festival in the country to have a face-to-face celebration since the pandemic began.

“It is most likely that the city can earn back the budget spent for this year's Kadayawan Festival in taxes,” Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre, concurrent Kadayawan spokesperson, said in an interview Monday.

Of the city's budget, PHP52 million is for the Kadayawan-proper activities while PHP3 million is allotted for the revamp of the tribal villages.

Alejandre said the city expects to receive at least 50,000 local and foreign guests to the festival, which will be opened on August 15, anchored on the theme “Pag-abli sa Kadayawan” at the Bantawan Amphitheater in Magsaysay Park.

However, Alejandre said organizers are keeping their expectations low as coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) “is still very much around.”

Meanwhile, Metro Davao Chamber of Commerce president, Dr. Maria Lourdes Monteverde said Dabawenyos should be proud to celebrate the Kadayawan Festival face-to-face, noting the consistently low Covid-19 cases recorded in the city.

“The Kadayawan Festival is back on the streets after two years. Let’s give ourselves warm applause,” Monteverde said.

Dubbed “Kasikas sa Kadayawan”, this year's festival will be staged to make a statement that the fun-filled and grateful spirit of Dabawenyos has resumed.

City Administrator Francis Mark Layog assured that security measures are in place for safer festivities.

“The Kadayawan will push through. We just have to wait for the alert level system from the national Inter-Agency Task Force for August,” Layog said. (PNA)