by Jane B. Cadalig
Preparations are hectic for the Jan. 18 visit of Miss Universe candidates to Baguio City.
The Baguio City Police Office has finalized the traffic deployment and rerouting plan to guide motorists and the public and to ensure a smooth flow of traffic while the residents shall have been having glimpses of the Miss Universe beauties.
The parade, which will start at the Department of the Interior and Local Government office at Upper Session Road and pass by the Nevada-Panagbenga Park Rotunda to South Drive then to the Baguio Country Club, will render both lanes of the roads closed from 7 a.m. until the event is over.
The road from the Teachers’ Camp junction going to South Drive, junction of PNR/Utility Road going to Upper Session, and UP Drive junction will also be closed to traffic from 7 a.m.
The BCPO advised passenger jeepneys from Loakan, Military Cut-Off, Hillside, and Gabriela Silang to take the Military Cut-Off-BGH Rotunda to Kisad Road and take a right turn to J. Abad Santos to Harrison Road and make a U-turn at the Veterans’ Park then to their point of destination.
Those coming from PNR, DPS Compound, and Greenwater are advised to take the Nevada Road-Engineers Hill-Leonard Wood Road-BIR/Salud Mitra to YMCA and go down Fr. Carlu Loop-General Luna and Upper and Lower Mabini St. to their point of destination.
Those from the central business district are advised to take Harrison Road to Magsaysay and go up to Upper General Luna to Happy Glen Loop and exit to Leonard Wood Road then to their point of origin.
BCPO Director for Operations Freddie Lazona said the traffic plan and security are already in place. Personnel who will be deployed along the parade route and in affected areas were also identified.
“We are also preparing our contingency plan and are constantly coordinating with affected stakeholders,” he said.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan invited the public to take part in the event, but requested for cooperation as security will be tight.
“While Baguio is a generally peaceful place, (we have to understand) that the security handler of Miss Universe is strict about the candidates’ security,” he said.
The 65th Miss Universe-Baguio leg was initiated by the Hotels and Restaurant Association of Baguio in partnership with the city government and other sponsors.
HRAB spokesperson Andrew Pinero said 32 Miss Universe candidates are expected to join the Baguio leg.
He said groups from other areas in the Cordillera and Northern Luzon have also sent their intention to perform during the event.
“They volunteered to perform in the event at no cost to the HRAB. They just want to take part in this once in a lifetime event,” Pinero said.