Drones banned in this year’s ‘Panagbenga’ grand parades

By Aldwin Quitasol

BAGUIO CITY — The chief of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) has announced that they will prohibit the use of drones during the 2018 Baguio Flower Festival, popularly known as “Panagbenga”.

Specifically, drones will be banned during the Grand Street Dancing Parade on February 24 and the Grand Float Parade on February 25.

BCPO director Ramil Saculles said that while the proposed ordinance regulating the ownership of drones is still being deliberated in the city council, they have taken the position that drones cannot be used during the annual flower fest but also during the Chinese Spring Festival Parade on February 16.

Saculles said drones can be a security threat during the Panagbenga parades as the annual festival usually attracts a huge number of tourists and guests. He said that having drones hovering above the crowd might compromise public safety as their movements could be easily monitored by lawless elements.

“I’m appealing to the members of the media not to use drones during their coverage of the said events,” Saculles said. He made the same appeal to spectators, including visitors.

As the ordinance regulating its use is still pending in the city council, the police official said those that will be found flying their drones will be only reprimanded. He said that the BCPO has its own equipment for covering the parade and can provide copies to those who will ask for it.

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