The Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. (BFFFI) warned prospective participants to the month-long market encounter and the week-long Session Road in Bloom against scammers posing as organizers of the events and collecting huge amounts of money from them allegedly to ensure the slots for them to display their products during the festival.
Panagbenga Executive Committee Co-Chairman Anthony de Leon said that interested participants to the market encounter should only deal with the duly-accredited event organizer tapped by the foundation as its partner for the event while those wanting to join the Session Road in Bloom should only deal with the BFFFI screening committee tasked to screen qualified participants to the week-long event along the city’s main thoroughfare.
He disclosed that the said scammers are allegedly offering the market encounter stalls to interested participants in exchange for a fee of P140,000 for the duration of the event while the Session Road in Bloom stalls are being sold by said impostors to as much as P120,000 per stall.
He clarified that in the case of the market encounter stalls, the organizer is only allowed to charge exhibitors up to a maximum of P60,000 only per stall and that the organizers are not allowed to sub-lease which will result to the termination of the contract anytime during the duration of the event.
On the other hand, Malou Galiste, Executive Director of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB), pointed out that the Session Road in Bloom will run from February 27 to March 5, 2023 contrary to the offer being made by the scammers that the event will be for 11 days, and that the fees being collected by BFFFI will be based on the type of stall preferred by the exhibitors and not P120,000 being offered by the scammers.
He revealed that the BFFFI will be releasing the application forms for the Session Road in Bloom for a week starting January 30, 2023 to pave the way for the screening process conducted by the organizers for the qualified applicants wanting to have their stalls during the said event.
According to her, there will be some 330 stalls spread along the whole stretch of Session Road occupying both lanes converting the road into a virtual promenade for residents and tourists alike.
Large stalls measure around 4 meters by 4.5 meters, medium stalls have a dimension of 3 meters by 4.5 meters, while small stalls measure 2 meters by 2 meters.
Galiste urged applicants to the stalls along Session Road to report the questionable transactions of the scammers to the BFFFI and the Baguio City Police office to prevent such criminal activities from victimizing more exhibitors out of their hard-earned money.
The month-long activities of the flower festival is expected to kick off on February 1, 2023 with the conduct of the grand opening parade, the opening of the market encounter and the landscaping competition at Burnham park.