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Mayor Benjamin Magalong assured that the city is now working on additional control systems to ensure strict observance of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) health and safety measures during events.
The city government was criticized for breach of health protocols during the opening of Christmas in Baguio celebration and the resumption of night market activities last Dec. 1.
The mayor acknowledged there were lapses in crowd control during the Christmas tree lighting program which attracted a huge crowd starting at 6 p.m. and also during the night market operation which ran from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
In his speech during the Christmas tree lighting program, he assumed full responsibility for the incident.
He also suspended the operation of the night market the following day to allow refining of the strategies.
He said the city like any other local government unit is learning to cope with the new normal way and continues to do a balancing act between reopening the economy and protecting the people from the virus.
“Right now, we will make sure that there are more systems in place to avoid a repeat of the incident,” he said.
City Tourism Operations Officer Aloysius Mapalo promised to do better in the next events that the city will stage saying the Dec. 1 incident was a “learning experience for us to do better and improve management next time.”
“This is part of the healing process wherein people are looking of normalcy. We can only do better next time,” he said.
Market superintendent Fernando Ragma Jr. admitted that they failed to predict the size of the crowd that will venture into the night market.
“We failed to forecast the spillover of the Christmas in Baguio attendees and we failed to anticipate the excitement of the locals to go out of their homes from months of being told to stay home,” he said.
Aileen P. Refuerzo