Baguio backs Sona filming; city still closed for tourists

BAGUIO City Mayor Benjamin Magalong has warned tour agencies accepting reservations despite quarantine restrictions.

"We underscore, Baguio City remains closed to tourists and leisure activities while the coronavirus disease still hovers and while quarantine measures are still in effect. Anybody caught violating our local government restrictions shall be dealt with accordingly under the following laws and its accompanying penalties," the mayor said in a statement.

The City Mayor's Office cited Section 6 [a] of Republic Act 11469 (Bayanihan to Heal as One Act), punishing and penalizing disobedience of National Government policies or directives in regard to quarantine impositions by local government unit officials with imprisonment of two months or a fine of not less than P10,000 but not more P1,000,000 or both, at the discretion of the court and Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, punishing resistance or disobedience to persons in authority or their agents with arrest or jail time of up to six months, and fine not exceeding P100,000, among others.

The advisory was released Friday morning, July 10.

Previously, the City Mayor's Office also made public a statement on the arrival of the film team of director Joyce Bernal to the city to shoot scenes for the upcoming State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte.

"Prior to the trip to Baguio, despite having received a permit from Malacanang, the group made it a point to register and accomplish the health declaration form online, submitted all the necessary requirements, and was approved consequently. Upon arrival, Piolo Pascual, director Joyce Bernal et al followed all protocols set in place. They were not given any preferential treatment. Like the rest, they were made to wait in line and had to follow all the protocols set in place. As Baguio has well-equipped triage stations, we are capacitated to screen persons who enter our borders. Our safety as a city was never put at risk. The group of Piolo Pascual and Dir. Joyce Bernal respected Baguio City and its protocols," it stated.

The Mayor's Office said the group came to Cordillera on official business -- Baguio being part of their itinerary.

To complete a shoot being prepared for Duterte's upcoming Sona, the group chose several areas that would highlight the Cordilleran heritage.


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