BAGUIO CITY, Jan 19, (PIA) -- Mayor Benjamin Magalong said he is still looking forward to Panagbenga 2021.
With the detection of UK Variant or the B.1.1.7. SARS-CoV-2 variant in the country as confirmed by the Department
of Health and the Philippine Genome Center last week, and the increasing COVID-19 cases in the city,
the launching of the Baguio Flower Festival or Panagbenga 2021 scheduled on January 18 was deferred toa later date.
Andrew Pinero, Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc.(BFF!) chairman of the Media Committee, announced over the
weekend the postponement of the toned-down version of Panagbenga 2021.
This year's festival was planned in adherence to IATF guidelines, and would to focus in two events only, the Baguio in Bloom and the Session Road in Bloom, which are among the traditional events of the annual celebration held every February. The street dancing and float parades which are the city's biggest crowd drawing events were scrapped.
In the proposed plan, the Baguio in Bloom which usually features exhibits and landscapes would be around the Melvin Jones Football grounds while the Session Road in Bloom would have limited capacity to at least 40 percent of the stalls at Session Road.
Magalong, who sits as the BFFFI Executive Committee Chairperson, said the if there would be good development as regards the COVID-19 UK variant and number of cases in the city, the Panagbenga 2021 can be launched during the summer time.
"Probably if we see that there is a good development to the UK Variant and at the same time, namanage and nareduce na ulit natin iyong number of cases natin dito sa Baguio City, then most probably we will be able to launch it sometime during the summer season either April or May," Magalong said.
Last year, the city government and the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. was able to kick off the 25th Panagbenga in February 1 but the activities were cancelled due to the threat of COVID.
Meanwhile, the City of Baguio continues to record increasing number of COVID-19 in the city. As of 7:00PM of Jan. 18, the Baguio City Health Services Office reports 56 new confirmed cases and one death. Of the 56 , 33 were contact raced, 9 due to expanded testing and 11 are symptomatic and 3 were tested for other reasons such as work, travel or medical procedure requirement.
To date, there are 4,533 confirmed cases in Baguio with 506 are active, 3,942 already recovered and 85 recorded deaths.
The mayor reiterates to the public to continue to observe the minimum public health standards especially the proper wearing of their face masks and face shield as well as to observe social distancing and avoid crowd drawing places and events, which are the basic measures to fight infection. (JDP/ RMC- PIA-CAR)