Baguio – The Baguio City Council passed an ordinance institutionalizing the Saleng Festival in the City of Baguio. The ordinance was signed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong on January 21, 2022.
The Saleng Festival shall take off every month of June during a regular Monday flag-raising ceremony to unveil the calendar of activities lined up for the four-month-long celebration from June to September of each year.
The launching is also in support of the International Day for Biological Diversity celebrated every 22nd day of May of each year.
The ordinance was crafted based on the program presented and implemented by the CEPMO together with the inputs of stakeholders during a public consultation conducted by the city council.
Under the ordinance, major activities to be conducted during the festival are Tree Cart Parade, Tree Cart Exhibit, Recognition and Awarding of Best Tree Cart, International Day for Biological Diversity, World Environment Day and Philippine Environment Month, World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, Day National Arbor, National Clean-Up Month and World Clean and Green Week, Green Thumb Awards, and Cycling for the Environment.
An amount of P200,000.00 shall be allocated in the annual budget of the CEPMO to cover all budgetary requirements for the purpose.
According to the ordinance, the institutionalization of the Saleng Festival shall encourage Baguio citizens to be proactive partners of the city government in its urban forest stewardship management program, thereby building community ownership of urban trees and forests.
The very first Saleng Festival was launched on May 24, 2021 with the theme ‘Restoring Our Ecosystem Together.’ According to Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the Saleng Festival was brought into existence to highlight the importance of the cooperation and commitment of the community in preserving the environment. -Jordan G. Habbiling