Issue of March 4, 2018
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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"Car–mageddon" and "Basura–don"

With its limited space and mostly single-lane streets, we shouldn’t be surprised that Baguio experiences a “car-mageddon” during huge events like the annual Panagbenga, the only Philippine festival accepted by the International Association of Festivals based in the U.S. With the hundreds of thousands of local and foreign tourists lured to these activities, can “basura-don” or mounds of garbage left on the streets and walkways be far behind?

This near-sighted Ibaloy writer still believes that the best way to minimize these traffic and garbage woes is to request visitors to leave their vehicles at home and use public transport, which the city has much of. When visiting the City of Pines, tourists should not throw their litter anywhere but deposit these in trash receptacles. This goes for residents also. Please lang.

Anyway, City Mayor Mauricio Domogan reiterated his appeal to residents and visitors to cooperate and do their share in the Summer Capital’s ongoing anti-littering campaign by depositing their trash in garbage receptacles.

He said this would go a long way in easing the city’s garbage problem that usually spikes during big events like the Panagbenga, especially during its main highlights like the street dancing and parade of floats where thousands of visitors troop to the city and witness the annual spectacle.

The chief executive said the public should use the trash receptacles in various areas of the central business district as he encouraged visitors to treat Baguio as their home-away-from-home and keep its environment clean, green, and garbage-free.

Domogan stressed the local government continues to search for a permanent solution to the city’s garbage disposal woes and the contribution of all sectors is important in crafting the long-term solution to the decade-old problem.

FYI: The average age of inmates or persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at the Baguio City Jail-Female Dorm (BCJ-FD) is 18 to 32 years old.

BCJ-FD Warden April Rose Ayangwa also said the facility has a total population of 99 inmates, making it 99 percent congested based on the United Nations standard of 50.

She added that this include two who are insular prisoners (one for transfer to the Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong and one with a pending case), one child in conflict with the law, and three senior citizens.

Ayangwa revealed that the top three cases female inmates are accused of are violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drug Law, estafa, and theft.

She also said the BCJ-FD has accomplished much from the 4th quarter of last year to the present. The facility received the Aliw Award Foundation’s Best New Concept Production Award for the “Anatomiya ng Babaeng Pugita” play, second-time awardee of the Department of Health Red Orchid for being a 100 percent smoke-free facility, plaque of recognition from the city government for supporting the Pasadang Pambarangay 2017, and regional award as “Best City Jail Implementer” from 2016 to 4th quarter of 2017 among other citations.

She stressed their achievements and programs won’t be possible without the support of the city government led by Domogan, Rep. Mark Go, Vice Mayor Edison Bilog, other officials, volunteers from the religious, the academe, media, and other sectors.

We are on air Wednesdays, 8 a.m., over K-Lite 96.7 FM, with Hillary Johnson and every last Tuesday of the month at 3 p.m. for City Hall Hour over SkyCable, DZEQ Radyo Pilipinas, and Big FM. In this beautiful archipelago of delicious coconuts and smiling carabaos, it’s more fun and cooler in Baguio!

Here’s “Till Death” by Francis C. Macansantos: “The hours being dollars, the minutes cents,/ Your heart ticks away the pennyseconds/ As you say Have a nice day, and they reply,/ You, too. But will there ever be, really,/ A day when, pressing the right key,/ You finally ring yourself quite out,/ Out of this place-time prison?/ Somewhere buds are stirring/ Out of warmed branches./ Here nothing happens but time/ Ticking out your life/ In alien coinage,/ Where you are frozen in time,/ By the silent, quick-silver accumulation/ Of freezing upon frozen rain.”

Until next week and may Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.

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