December 5, 2023

Malacañang authorized the shooting of TV and film director Joyce Bernal and actor Piolo Pascual in La Trinidad, Benguet.
Mayor Romeo Salda said Bernal’s team were issued clearances by the Presidential Communications Operations Office, the regional offices of the departments of Tourism, Interior and Local Government, and the provincial government.
“Upon receiving telephone calls from PCOO Asec. Marie Rafael Banaag and DOT-CAR Director Jovi Ganongan giving their reassurances, we immediately sought for advice from the Office of the Governor and DILG-CAR Director Marlo Iringan, (and) both offices gave the go-ahead for the State of the Nation Address shoot,” Salda said. 
The filming was done at Barangay Bahong only for 15 minutes, focusing on the landscapes of the rose capital. Salda clarified there were no filming conducted at Mt. Yangbew.
The mayor said sanitation protocols were followed and the crew did not interact with the residents.
On July 3, Bernal wrote a letter to the local government asking permission to shoot, assuring that the production team will undergo and follow health protocols; that no filming will be done in any public place; that there won’t be any interaction with locals; and disinfection will be conducted after the filming.
“Our decision to allow the crew to shoot and take pictures for the SONA was based on the clearances issued by Malacañang. Since the shoot was for official purposes, no fees were collected. We deeply apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused,” Salda said.
The scenes filmed will be used for the third SONA of the President, where Bernal is the director.
Earlier, the team of Bernal was denied by officials of Sagada, Mountain Province from filming sceneries at the tourist spot, despite having papers from Malacañang and other needed documents. The municipality cited the safety of its constituents and to maintain its Covid-19-free status.
The team also proceeded to Banaue, Ifugao and Tublay, Benguet but was barred from shooting.
The crew was welcomed in Baguio City and was subjected to its strict health protocols before entry to the city where they also filmed sceneries. – Ofelia C. Empian