An interagency meeting led by the Department of Health-Cordillera discuss measures to manage the 2019 nCoV, which included the cancellation of today’s Panagbenga opening parade Street Dance Parade.(PIA photo)

The opening Street Dance Parade of the Baguio City’s Panagbenga Festival originally set today was canceled as a measure to protect public health against the 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). 

During an interagency meeting yesterday, Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the city is cancelling the event to be “proactive”.

“We are very much concerned about the health of our residents and visitors in the city,” he said.

Magalong said the fate of the crowd-drawing Panagbenga street and float parades scheduled for February 29 and March 1 would still have to be deliberated upon.

Customarily, the opening parade designates the  performers in the finale of the Panagbenga street dance and drum and lyre band performance.

Meanwhile, other big events in the city were re-set such as the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) Meet slated for February 16-21; the Sunday openings and art activities along Session Road; and the International Jazz Festival.

“The tourism revenues are the least of my concerns,” Magalong said.“My main priorities are the health of my constituents.”

However, he clarified that schedules of small events like weddings, conferences, and others would remain unaffected.

According to City Health Officer Rowena Galpo, the local government is closely in touch with the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio in managing the 2019-nCoV through orientations, health advisories, and guidelines on the disease. (Jojo Mangahis)