Magalong thumbs down ordinance regulating busking in Baguio

Published August 6, 2022, 2:08 PM

by Comanda Rizaldy C.

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin Magalong here rejected the proposal to regulate busking after the city council recently approved an ordinance controlling street performances in this city.

“It is not the right time, adding that people, including artists and musicians, earn meager during Sunday’s closure of Session Road and allowing such. We are in recovery stage from the pandemic. We have to support these buskers, the vendors, the merchants,” Magalong said.

The city government must give livelihood now. Some in need we give free ‘ayuda’ (aid), free livelihood program, some are given subsidy by the city, he said.

Magalong added that the “objective of imposing fees is to generate funds. But let us all recover first, it is not the right time. I don’t agree in charging of fee.”

Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr., author of the ordinance, bared that the city council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance regulating the conduct of busking here during its regular session last July 25.

Yangot said that there is a need for the creation of a Street Performance Committee composed of the city mayor as the chairperson, the city administrator as co-chairperson, and the city treasurer, head of the Permits and Licensing Division, city tourism operations officer, chairperson of the Committee on Tourism, Special Events, Parks, and Playgrounds, and two representatives from the accredited musician street performer’s groups here.

He said that street performance or busking, the act of performing in public places for gratuities and that the rewards are generally in the form of money but other gratuities such as food, drinks, or gifts may be given, shall be allowed only after a permit is issued to buskers.

The ordinance states that a special busking permit is issued by the city once an applicant has completed an application and paid the P350 fee. The fee is at the discretion of the city mayor and subject to change.

An applicant must fill up the application form that includes the applicant’s name, residence, address, and telephone number, and shall be signed by the applicant.

Once approved, the permit has a validity period of one year and shall be non-transferrable.

A permit may be issued for a group performance of up to a maximum of three members, while a bigger number requires a special permit.

The performer is told of the regulations set by the city. In cases of loss of permit, a replacement can be obtained from the city with a similar amount as fee.

The performer may then clearly display his or her permit while performing, the ordinance added.