Politicians barred to campaign in Panagbenga highlights

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BAGUIO CITY  – Local officials and organizers of the 24th edition of panagbenga popularly known as the Baguio flower festival warned national candidates and their supporters wanting to take advantage of the huge crowd that will be witnessing the twin highlights of the city’s major crowd drawing event, the grand streetdancing and grand float parades, that they will not be allowed to campaign along the parade route to ensure orderliness in the conduct of the festival’s major events.

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said that national candidates will be allowed to join the two parades but they will not be allowed to break the line just to shake hands with the people in the crowd and distribute their election paraphernalia because it will serve as a destruction to the smooth flow of the parades.

“We want the presence of national candidates in the two major flower festival parades for them to avail of the huge crowd that will be witnessing the said events but they should strictly adhere to the prescribed rules and regulations in the conduct of the said activities to ensure orderliness and prevent the unnecessary interruption while the said events are underway,” Domogan stressed.

The grand streetdancing parade will be scheduled on March 2, 2019 while the grand float parade will be conducted on March 3, 2019 wherein thousands of foreign and domestic visitors are expected to fill up the parade routes to witness the dynamic performances of the streetdancers and the flower-decorated floats.

Anthony de Leon, general manager of the Baguio Country Club (BCC) and co-chairman of the Panagbenga Organizing Committee, claimed organizers do not want a repeat of previous experiences where there were candidates who joined the parade and defied the rules and regulations as some of them broke the line and shook hands with the crowd while walking along the parade routes which resulted to the destruction of the smooth flow of the parade from its point of origin to its point of destination at the Baguio Athletic Bowl.

According to him, supporters of candidates are not prohibited to distribute election paraphernalia to the crowd but the same should be done in an orderly manner so as not to destruct the attention of the people in viewing the participants to the twin parades.

He explained that coordinators of candidates who get in touch with the organizers regarding the rules and regulation campaigning during the twin highlights of the flower festival are reminded of what should be observed that is why organizers remain optimistic that candidates will not break the line when they decide to join the two parades.

Panagbenga is the only festival in the country that was included in the elite list of festivals in the different parts of the world that comprise the International Festivals Association.

De Leon appealed to interested national candidates and their supporters who want to join in the conduct of the two major flower festival parades to coordinate with the Panagbenga Organizing Committee so that they will be provided with the rules and regulations governing the campaigning during the duration of the parades for them to be informed on the important things to remember so that they will not be criticized by the viewing public for not adhering to the guidelines that have been implemented for the said purpose.

By Dexter A. See

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