Thousands of foreign and domestic visitors are expected to fill up the parade routes to witness the dynamic performances of the street dancers and the flower-bedecked floats.
Philstar.com/Artemio Dumlao, file

Candidates welcome at Panagbenga, campaigning is not
Artemio Dumlao (Philstar.com) - January 18, 2019 - 1:06pm

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Election bets can join, but "epal" moves are banned.

Local officials and organizers of the 24th staging of the Baguio Flower Festival, the “Panagbenga”, warned national bets and their supporters against taking advantage of the twin Grand Street Dancing and Grand Flower Float parades to gain votes.

This, amid criticism of bets already "invading" various festivals across the country.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan said candidates for national posts can join the parades but will not be allowed to campaign. They will also be told not to break the parade line to shake hands with the crowd or hand out campaign paraphernalia.

Although candidates for national positions are welcome, Domogan, who is running for a seat at the House, said "they should strictly adhere to the prescribed rules and regulations in the conduct of the said activities to ensure orderliness and prevent the unnecessary interruption." 

The monthlong Panagbenga starts on February 1. 

The official campaign period will run from February 12 to May 11, although candidates have managed to skirt rules on premature campaigning, which, in any case, is not penalized.

The Grand Street Dancing parade is on March 2, 2019, followed by the Grand Flower Float parade on March 3.

Thousands of foreign and domestic visitors are expected to fill up the parade routes to witness the dynamic performances of the street dancers and the flower-bedecked floats.

RELATED: Despite criticisms of politicking Panagbenga, Imee says north remains ‘solid’

Anthony de Leon, general manager of the Baguio Country Club and co-chairman of the Panagbenga Organizing Committee said, organizers do not want a repeat of previous experiences where some candidates joined the parade and defied the rules and regulations. Some broke the parade lines and shook hands with the crowd, disrupting the parade flow.

Though supporters of candidates are allowed to distribute election paraphernalia, they should not be a distraction from the festival.

De Leon appealed to national candidates and their supporters to coordinate with the Panagbenga Organizing Committee, which will advise them on the rules and regulations on participation.

2019 MIDTERM ELECTIONS BAGUIO PANAGBENGA FESTIVAL PANAGBENGA FESTIVAL
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