Magalong thumbs down busking ordinance, not yet time

BUSKERS. Not yet this time said mayor Benjamin Magalong to the proposed ordinance regulating busking in the city streets specially on Sunday. Two buskers at the Calderon corner Session Road, one wearing the 70s mecha-robot Voltes V, while Bumblebee, from the Transformers franchise, is at the background. PML

Mayor Benjamin Magalong this week said that imposing fees on buskers is not the right time while throwing shade at the proponent of an ordinance regulating the conduct of street performances in the city that passed first reading the other week.

“It is not the right time,” said Magalong after Monday’s flag ceremony at the City Hall grounds adding that people, including artists and musicians earn meager during Sunday’s closure of Session Road and allowing such.

Magalong said to wait. “We are in recovery stage (from the Covid-19 pandemic). (We have to) support these (buskers), the vendors, the merchants.”

He added that the “objective of imposing fees is to generate funds. Mabigat (stiff) for those recovering, it is not the right time.”

During Monday’s interview, Magalong also said that the local government must “give livelihood now. Some in need we give free ayuda, free livelihood program, (some are given) subsidy by the city.”

“I don’t agree in charging of fee,” he added.

Last July 25, the City Council, during its regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance regulating the conduct of busking in the city.

Councilor Leandro Yangot, Jr., author of the ordinance, said that there is a need for the creation of a Street Performance Committee that is 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 in the city.

Yangot 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 busing permit is issued by the PLD once an applicant has completed an application and paid the PhP350 fee. Said fee being at the discretion of the City Mayor and subject to change.

An applicant must fill 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 then 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. Pigeon Lobien



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