April 20, 2024

A member of the city council cited the need to revisit a pending proposal that sought to regulate street performances before the legislative body could pass another measure to set a festival for such activities.

During the council deliberation on the proposed ordinance for the holding of a busking festival on the third week of October, Councilor Peter Fianza has reminded the members to consider acting first on an earlier proposal that sought to regulate busking in Baguio.

“There is a pending proposal to regulate busking. Should we not come up first with a regulation before the festival?” Fianza said, referring to the proposed ordinance regulating busking in Baguio, which the council passed on first reading in January last year.

The proposed regulation includes, among other provisions, the payment of annual permit fees by the street performers.

In the meantime, a scheduling system for street performers is being implemented at Session Road to prevent crowding at the city’s main thoroughfare.

Fianza said if the council approves the conduct of a busking festival, it would mean the activity is already sanctioned, even if the proposal to regulate the same is yet to be finalized.

“If we approve the conduct of the festival, it means we are allowing busking, but there is no regulation yet as intended by the earlier proposal. We should first regulate busking then probably in this regulation, we can incorporate the conduct of a festival,” Fianza said.

Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda raised the need to give a distinction between busking and cosplaying, adding there is also a pending ordinance that sets the conduct of cosplay on the last days of October.

In the proposed ordinance, a busking festival is defined as any festival in which street shows or street performers of music, theater, dance, and juggling, among other acts, play a prominent role.

Councilor Leandro Yangot, the main proponent of the ordinance, said in busking, the highlight is the exhibition of art, such as painting and the use of musical instruments, while in cosplaying, the performers highlight their costumes.

The dictionary definition of busking is a performance in which a person entertains in a public place for donations while cosplay is the act of dressing up as a character from a work of fiction.

Tabanda said the proposed ordinance should make a clear distinction between busking and cosplaying because there are performers wearing costumes or cosplayers who are also seeking donations.

On the other hand, she said some buskers also don their costumes while entertaining and seeking donations.

The council returned the proposal to the committee on tourism, special events, and parks and playgrounds for incorporation of the members’ inputs. – Jane B. Cadalig