May 27, 2024

Mayor Benjamin Magalong issued Executive Order 50, s. 2024, declaring May 16 to 22 as the “City of Baguio, Philippines and Australia Friendship Week” and setting guidelines for the purpose.

The EO is anchored on Proclamation 1282 that declared every May 22 as Philippine-Australia Friendship Day during the 70th Anniversary of Philippine-Australia relations and emphasizes our country’s commitment to strengthening relationships with nations sharing common values, cultural and historical ties.

The order states that the enduring friendship between the two countries finds tangible expression in the Summer Capital where numerous Australian influences, businesses and groups thrive.

On Feb. 21 and March 21 this year, a delegation from the Australian Embassy visited the city to present plans for hosting the 2024 Philippine-Australia Friendship Day celebration.

“Recognizing the mutual benefits derived from such engagements, there arises a necessity to host this event, thereby enhancing awareness of our diplomatic relations with Australia through the exposition of their culture, arts, and governance. It is critical to establish relevant guidelines to ensure the successful execution of this year’s Philippine-Australian Friendship Week in the city, thereby encouraging maximum participation from the city government, its stakeholders and residents,” it added.

Sanctioned activities for the week-long event include a sustainability forum, educators’ forum, journalist’s reception, and friendship day reception on May 17 in various times and venues; creative crawl, May 18; Friendship Day Festival on May 18 and 19 at SM Baguio Sky Garden; Philippines-Australia Friendship Mural unveiling, May 19 at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center Rotunda followed by a farm visit at La Trinidad, Benguet. Other activities will be announced later.

With the local government serving as co-presenter of the celebration, the order directs all concerned city departments, offices, and private organizations to extend support to the endeavor.

It also encourages the business and private sectors to provide all cordialities for the success of the celebration. – Gaby B. Keith