BAGUIO CITY – The council approved the closure of major roads in the central business district on specific dates to pave the way for the conduct of several highlights of the 20th edition of the Panagbenga this year.
With a vote of councilors in favour, two against and 1 abstention, the council gave in to the request of Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan to close a portion of Burnham Lake Drive or Jose Abad Santos Drive in front of the Ganza Restaurant up to the portion of Solibao Restaurant from 09 February to 08 March to pave the way for the conduct of the Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition, which is one of the income-generating projects of the Baguio flower festival.
Earlier, Domogan issued an administrative order closing the same portion of the road from 31 January to 08 February pursuant to the provisions of the Local government code to allow the operation of the Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition which started on 01 February.
On February 28 from a am to 1 pm, the whole stretch of Session road from its intersection with South Drive up to Lower Session road, Harrison Road and Burnham Lake Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic to pave the way for the grand streetdancing parade.
On March 01, 1 am to 1 pm, the same roads as earlier mentioned will be closed to vehicular traffic to pave the way for the colourful grand float parade and marching bands competition which will be one of the highlights of the flower festival.
On 01-08 March, Session Road from its junction with SM rotunda up to the area fronting Mercury Drug will be totally closed for the conduct of the week-long Session Road in Bloom wherein the city’s main road will be closed for the put up of sidewalk cafes and the conversion of the road into a virtual promenade area.
However, Gov. Pack Road, Assumption Road, Upper and Lower Mabini Streets, Calderon Street, Perfecto St. and Pefecto Street Extension from Malcolm Square will still be open to vehicular traffc for emergency purposes among others.
At the same time, the council approved the use of Melvin Jones grandstand for the Handog ng Panagbenga sa mga Pamilya ng Baguio on February 15, the Baguio Athletic Bowl on February 28 and March 1 for the grand streetdancing parade and grand float parade. The Baguio Athletic Bowl will also be used on March 07 for the Pony Boys Day and on March 08 for the Panagbenga closing ceremonies.
However, the council imposed several conditions for the clusre of the aforesaid roads, specifically the provision of alternate routes to the closed roads shall be provided in coordination with the affected barangays and the Traffic Management Bureau.
Further, the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. is mandated to install visible signages indicating the alternate routes and when necessary containing the date of the event and its duration.
The council also asserted the conduct of constant consultations with the barangay officials in coordination with the TMB as needed for proper traffic monitoring.
Domogan was elated over the council’s action on the request for the closure of roads so as not to jeopardize the smooth conduct of the activities of this year’s flower festival which is expected to draw the influx of more visitors this year. By Dexter A. See