MAYOR Reinaldo Bautista, Jr. ordered the suspension of classes for elementary and high school levels on February 1.

This aims to provide students the full opportunity to take part in the Panagbenga 2010 opening parade.

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"It is participated by various sectors of the community including the different schools in the city but we are leaving the decision to Ched (Commission on Higher Education) for the college level," Bautista said.

"We are encouraging our students and their parents to participate in this event, this parade is especially for the locals," he added.

The suspension was based on Section 16 of the Local Government Code providing the local government to "promote the general welfare...health and safety" of its constituents.

"This is the grandest festivals in the country today, Panagbenga is expected to draw-in thousands of people coming from different parts of the country."

"They are definitely coming to the city, increase in human and vehicular traffic will definitely raise concern for health and safety but we are prepared, I'm sure the organizers have already formulated their plan of action on public order and safety," he said. (Paul Rillorta)