THE Baguio City Council has approved on third and final reading an ordinance institutionalizing the Session Road History and Heritage Festival.
To be conducted over the course of multiple Sundays, starting the third Sunday of April until the second Sunday of June, the festival intends to highlight the history of Session Road.
Authored by Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan and Councilor Elaine Sembrano, the ordinance would close off Session Road from the Rotunda to People’s Park to vehicular traffic on the set Sundays.
On these Sundays, dining establishments would be allowed and encouraged to provide outdoor seating in their frontage areas for customers.
Business establishments will also be requested to beautify their frontages with flowers and ornamental plants, while the city will install a sound system to provide music during the festival.
Banners and other appropriate informational material on the historical significance of some areas along the road such as Baden Powell will be provided by the city.
The ordinance also establishes a working committee that will oversee the festival, but in addition, the committee will also be responsible for researching and documenting events of historical significance that have occurred on the road, as well as setting mandatory guidelines for preservation and restoration of historical sites in the area.
Under the ordinance, the city will also arrange for guided tours along points of historical interest in the road, as well as coordinate with local artists to conduct appropriate activities to highlight Baguio’s identity and culture. Buskers will also be allowed to do their thing, but only if they operate in adherence with the committee’s guidelines to keep activities in theme.
An amount of P500,000.00 shall be allocated annually for the purpose in the budget of the Tourism and Special Events Division under the City Administrator’s Office. The division may likewise coordinate with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) for possible additional funding.