The Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI)?
The partnership started when the city government gave the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. the authority to manage the operation of the festival through an executive order by the Mayor. This was in response to the clamor for a more transparent and efficient administration because in the past the organizers were not able to account for all the funds generated from donations and sponsorships. Trusting in the integrity of the people (businessmen, educators, bankers, professionals and other private individuals) that comprise the foundation, the Mayor gave the management of the festival to Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc..
IDFI selects members of the executive committee and the working committees, solicits fund, markets and promotes the festival and submits a financial statement to the Sangguniang Panlunsod. All events during the month of January get permits and approval from IDFI.
The LGUs provide financial assistance, support services like police, health, sanitation requirements. National government agencies like the Department of Tourism and Department of Trade and Industry help regulate activities under their supervision. Whatever resources one partner needs, the other partner provides.
In the past, the festival was mainly a set of varied activities distinctly different from each other without something in common. This was corrected by having a theme for the celebration. Every event since then, follows the essence of the theme and directs its activities towards that goal. Performances were made to conform with the theme as well. They just don't make a spectacle, but tell some story about local practices and culture.
As the years go by, the budget of Dinagyang increases. From a mere P2M Budget in 2001, it has grown to P7M in 2004. For this year, the cost is estimated at P10M. The increase in the number of participants and the increase in the subsidy for the groups account for the big chunk of the budget.
Whatever money is left after the festival is used as seed money for the next festival. But the operation of IDFI is not limited to the January event alone. It has become an all-year round preparation considering participation in national events like the Aliwan Fiesta, Philippine Travel Mart Exhibits, and Wow Philippines.
With Dinagyang, Iloilo City and Province gain a lot of attention and mileage. New businesses have been coming in to the city. Call centers and other investors have seriously considered branching out in Iloilo. Dinagyang is an effective promoter of the place.
Difficulties in organizing Dinagyang Festival. Money has been a problem during the first few years that the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI) took over the operation of the festival. It was not extensively promoted so there was a need to intensify information campaign and promotion. There was no written policy and guidelines then. Problems were acted upon as they come and no formal planning was done in the beginning.
IDFI made a significant turn around by coming out with a manual of operations defining the organizational structure and functions of the working committees.
This time however, the festival has grown so big in terms of its budgetary requirements and scope of events. Participation has grown to include contestants coming from different towns and provinces. The number of visitors have increased dramatically such that the local hotels lack rooms to accommodate them during Dinagyang.
With so many people, security has also become a problem. A heightened security measure requires more police personnel and other support services. Cleanliness is another problem. People just litter anywhere.
Future vision for the festival. The festival is envisioned to live up to its name as the premier festival of the country, involving the whole community - both the public and private sectors working together. It shall remain focused on its religious color - a celebration in honor of the Child Jesus. It shall continue to help attract tourists and investors to Iloilo City and Province.