Issue of January 15, 2017
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Dads caution on closing some roads for Flower Fest events
by Jane B. Cadalig

An earlier case filed against a group and the city government for allowing the use of Melvin Jones for an aborted fund raising activity is now threatening city officials from acting on a request to temporarily close roads at Burnham Park for Panagbenga-related activities.

The city council on Monday deferred any action on the request of the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. for the closure of Juan Luna and Lake Drives for the staging of the month-long trade fair Baguio Blooms, one of the events of Panagbenga.

The move came even with the assurance of City Legal Officer Melchor Rabanes that the city council is allowed by the Local Government Code to order temporary closure of roads.

“The council is not violating any law if it grants the request. I do not see any impediment provided the requisites of the Local Government Code are complied with,” he said.

Despite allowing the closure of Juan Luna and Lake Drives for the Baguio Blooms in the previous years, members of the city council became cautious in granting the BFFFI’s request this year, raising fears of similar legal backlash suffered by the supposed bazaar organized by the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio at the Melvin Jones grounds last year.

The fund raising activity at Melvin Jones was cancelled after businesswoman Ellen Lao filed a case against HRAB and was acted upon by a Baguio court in her favor.

The event aimed to raise funds for the city’s hosting of the Miss Universe candidates on Jan. 18.

Rabanes said the city council has been passing ordinances temporarily closing said roads at Burnham in the past years and has not been sued for doing such.

“The city council has been passing ordinances in the past, closing the roads and it was not sued for doing so,” Rabanes said.

Vice Mayor Edison Bilog and Councilor Mylen Yaranon said the city council is just being careful because it does not want a repeat of the incident last year.

The Local Government Code provides that no roads should be ordered closed for the holding of events, such as festivals, that are not officially sponsored or sanctioned by local government units.

Panagbenga is an institutionalized event of the city government and BFFFI in partnership with the private sector.

In the previous holdings of festivity, Juan Luna and Lake drives at Burnham Park and Session Road are ordered closed for the Baguio Blooms, formerly known as the Market Encounter, and Session Road in Bloom, respectively.

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Baguio Country Club
Cordillera Career Development College
Department of Tourism – CAR
Department of Trade and Industry – CAR
Informatics Institute
Medline International Training Institute

Baguio Central University
Baguio Multicultural Institute
Department of Agriculture – CAR
Department of Health – CAR
Department of Tourism – CAR
Fox Elite Immigration Consultancy
King’s College of the Philippines
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan
Philippine Veterans Bank
Philippine Women’s University – Baguio
Pines City Colleges
Regional Development Council & National Economic Development Authority – CAR
Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Benguet
Sutherland Global Services
University of Baguio

Assumption Medical Diagnostic Center
Baguio Center Mall
Baguio Heart and Lung Diagnostic Center, Inc.
Baguio Water District
Banco De Oro
Barangay 92.7 FM
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – CAR
C & Triple A Supermart
Congressman Ronald M. Cosalan
Cordillera Kidney Specialists, Inc.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources – CAR
Department of Public Works and Highways – CAR
Department of Science and Technology – CAR
Department of Trade and Industry – CAR
Fabulo Beauty and Image Salon
Far East Pacific Commercial
John Hay Management Corporation
Mother Earth Deli Basket
Nagomi Spa
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration
Philex Mining Corporation
Philippine National Police – Police Regional Office – Cordillera
Pines International Academy Inc.
Pugad: Pugo Adventure
Rianella Printing Press
Social Security System
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