SAFETY nets will be in place to ensure the protection of the trees and prevention of damage in the area surrounding the skating rink at Burnham Park in the conduct of the Baguio Bloom exposition and exhibition from February 1 to March 10.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. (BFFFI) will impose rules and regulations to cover all stallholders that will participate in the exhibition designed to protect the trees and the environs and ensure the security and upkeep of the area for the whole duration.
“The protection of the trees and the beauty of the park is also our concern hence the trees are excluded where the stalls will stay. Any act that destroys or damages the beauty of the park by all means are not allowed,” the mayor said.
He said security personnel and streetsweepers and garbage collectors will be deployed in the area to ensure peace and order and cleanliness and proper waste disposal.
The BFFFI organizing committee co-chaired by Councilor Elmer Datuin and Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) president Anthony De Leon said they also tapped the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources Cordillera (DENR-CAR) to monitor the environmental condition and check on the compliance of the participants with the rules.
The mayor did not sign Resolution No. 19-19 of the city council which disapproves the conduct of the Baguio Blooms at the skating rink site saying it violates the Environment Code and the Trade Fair Ordinance of the city and will destroy the park.
In his veto message dated January 28, he said it does not violate the Environment Code and cited section 14 of Ordinance No. 18-16 which allows the temporary closure of the protected landscapes for events conducted in relation to institutionalized activities organized or co-sponsored by the city government.
The mayor also called out the city council on an old measure Resolution No. 11-A series of 2014 which clarified the legislative intent of the trade fair quoting:
“On the conduct of the ‘Market Encounter’ and ‘Session Road in Bloom’ in Burnham Park and Session Road, respectively during the celebration of Panagbenga 2014, the same is not covered by the Trade Fair ordinance as it is the City Government conducting the same thru the BFFI by virtue of a duly approved City Council Resolution.”
On the share of the barangay or the Association of Barangay Council (ABC), the mayor said the traditional 20-stall allocation to the ABC will be retained with the proceeds of the 20 stalls out of 160 measuring 4x3 meters at the cost of P80,000 per stall will be given to the ABC.
In his message, the mayor appealed to the city council to reconsider their decision and instead support the conduct of the fair at the skating area.
“We had used the Skating Rink area for Baguio Bloom in the past and it was not damaged,” he said adding that no other alternative space can be located for the activity which had in the past been staged along Lake Drive and Juan Luna Drive at Burnham Park.
The mayor said the activity cannot be cancelled as it has been part of the attraction of the Panagbenga and will help sustain the budget which is being used to finance the subsidy being given to participating elementary and high schools and the prices of the winners in the grand street dance and floral parades.
For this year, the mayor said the BFFFI has increased the subsidy from P40,000 to P100,000 for the schools.
“We appeal therefore to this August Body not to object and instead support or approve the conduct of the Baguio Bloom at the skating area subject to rules and regulations,” the mayor said. (PR)