March 2, 2024

Personal services such as massage, manicure, tattooing, and fortune telling along with illegal vending are strictly prohibited in Burnham Park and other parks in the city, the City Environment and Parks Management Office (Cepmo) announced.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong has ordered intensive monitoring of these illegal activities after receiving reports of increasing incidence of theft involving persons providing massage services.

He also advised the public not to patronize these illegal services and to immediately report such to the roving guards, the Public Order and Safety Division, or to the Cepmo at 0917-415-8224.

“They were not content in plying their illegal business at the park, they also had the gall to steal from their customers,” he said.

The Cepmo has posted signages in strategic places and instructed the security company along with the Tourist Police personnel to intensify monitoring to prevent said activities.

The POSD recently engaged the affected individuals, numbering about 80, who provide services that are not covered by the city’s Environment Code or Ordinance 18, s. 2016 to stop their activities.

POSD Chief Enforcer Daryll Longid reportedly asked the group about the complaints made against them by tourists and park goers particularly “their deceptive way of conducting business such when they offer a sample of their massage that is supposedly for free but then goes on to give a full service, without their customers consent, and then charge them with exorbitant fees in the end, usually employing intimidation.”

“Our head also told them about reports of alleged stealing of customers’ belongings and their failure to give back their change. The group tried to put the blame of these deplorable acts on those they claim to be dayo or people who are not from Baguio who come to the city to offer massage services at our parks. Our chief however reminded them that the same complaints were received against their group even before these dayos started appearing at Burnham Park,” the POSD said.

Longid made suggestions on how the group can professionalize their ranks and explore ways to gain legal employment which the group promised to work on. – Aileen P. Refuerzo