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Opinion Sideglance

Busking regulation recommended in the city

With the declaration by UNESCO of Baguio City as one of the 16 creative cities in the world and the only creative city in the country City Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr. has authored a proposed ordinance seeking to regulate busking in the city.

Busking as defined is an art form that is practised by professional artists, amateur performers and those who are just starting out and is usually performed in public places such as parks, sidewalks, street corners, playgrounds for the entertainment of the public in return for tips.

In his explanation for his proposal Councilor Yangot explained that the vital role played by the local artists of the city must be emphasized and their contribution to the UNESCO award must be appropriately rewarded. He added that, “people really appreciate seeing and hearing interesting things when they are walking through some of the major destinations in the City of Baguio like the Central Business District, parks, playgrounds and other sports. The public especially children are excited when they come across an unexpected act. As musicians put it, music adds to a lively atmosphere and can brighten people’s moods. A good busker adds charm to any place”. Councilor Yangot likewise observed that busking is an overlooked art form from which a budding artist can gain exposure from a surprisingly diverse fan base and a paid practice time in front of a live audience, and that in the City of Baguio the number of such street performers are increasing and thus the need to regulate such activity.

Under the said proposed ordinance no street performer or busker shall perform in a public area without the necessary permit issued by the city government of Baguio. The busking permit shall be issued by the Permits and Licensing Division to an applicant in exchange for a completed application and a fee of P 350.00 with the said amount subject to change upon the discretion of the City Mayor.

The permit that shall be issued by the city to the street performer or busker shall be valid from the date on which it is issued for a period of one year and shall be non-transferrable and shall contain a permit number of the applicant, and the year on which the permit is deemed valid. The said permit may also be issued for a group performance of up to a maximum of three members with larger groups required to secure a special permit.

For purposes of the said proposed regulation a street performance committee shall be created and shall be composed of the following: (a) the City Mayor as the Chairperson, (b) the City Administrator as the Co-Chairperson and members: (c) City Treasurer, (d) Head of the Permits and Licensing Division, (e) City Tourism Officer, (f) Chairperson of the Committee on Tourism, Special Events, Parks and Playgrounds and (g) 2 representatives from the accredited musician’s street performer’s groups in the city.

The said committee shall designate the public areas where the said street performers or buskers shall be allowed to perform.

The proposed ordinance is scheduled to be deliberated on the next regular session of the City Council.