Gridlock, garbage woes mar long break in Baguio | Inquirer News

Gridlock, garbage woes mar long break in Baguio

/ 02:52 PM April 10, 2023

Tourists and residents in Baguio City are stuck in a traffic jam in this photo taken on Holy Wednesday, April 5, a common sight during holidays.

BAGUIO CITY — After the long break from school and work during Holy Week, tourists once again flocked to this city, but traffic jams and the piling garbage almost spoiled the vacation for some, including the locals.

Jed Hernandez, 21, who was born and raised in this city, said the surge of tourists during the summer was expected but the influx usually means additional hassle for the locals.


“Okay lang naman na may umaakyat, kaso traffic. Traffic talaga (It’s ok that there are people going up, but there’s really the traffic),” Rayjane Caltino told the Inquirer in an interview on April 5, Holy Wednesday.


Hernandez attributed the gridlock to the tourists, who are unfamiliar with the traffic regulations.

“Baguio has strict traffic rules. One way is one way only, minsan [sometimes] once you go down one road, bawal ka na magu-turn [it’s prohibited to u-turn]. Tourists tend to ignore that and cause a bigger problem than there should be,” he explained.

Crowd, trash

Intense crowding and waste management also became pressing concerns during this period.

“They (tourists) need to be more disciplined. Sometimes it’s already too tight on Session Road, then a big group would stop in the middle and converse there,” Hernandez said, “They could go off to the sidewalk.”

“I hope they could learn to fix their garbage,” Caltino added, explaining that big crowds of tourists often leave piles of trash lying around.


Gov’t response

A police officer in Baguio City assists a tourist asking for directions in this photo taken on Holy Wednesday, April 5.

The City Administrator’s Office and Baguio City Police Office launched Ligtas SumVac (Safe Summer Vacation) 2023 on April 6 to give help to tourists and motorists visiting the city.

Tents and booths were earlier put up in tourist-heavy spots like Session Road, Burnham Park, and Malcolm Square, among others, to address concerns from Baguio visitors.

“I think that helps, especially visitors not used to Baguio.  Many are still lost on their way,” Caltino said, “sometimes children get lost especially if there are many people, so the police desk is a big help.”

But Hernandez said the size and placement of the booths should have been planned more beforehand, as these could contribute to overcrowding.

“I think the help desk idea is helpful in times that tourists really do not know their destinations, but they just occupy space. I don’t think they need to occupy that much space,” he explained.

The Police Regional Office Cordillera has also taken initiatives to monitor tourist activity in the city, with Brigadier General David Peredo, regional cop director, visiting the Baguio night market to check the deployment of uniformed officers and canine units in the area.

On its Facebook page, the city’s Public Information Office continued to inform tourists about local ordinances.

Criselda Briones, a tourist from Tarlac province, said the summer capital’s chilly weather was the main reason for her visit.

“It’s very hot in our place, it’s like you’re inside a prison,” Briones shared.

Popular tourist spots like Burnham Park, Mines View Park, the Igorot Stone Kingdom, and Session Road have been drawing large crowds during the dry season.

The city’s tourism office said a lineup of activities has been laid out for April and May.



Baguio traffic to worsen this Holy Week | Inquirer News

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Lenten tourist crowd in Baguio seen to peak at 50,000 –

TAGS: Baguio, Garbage, Tourists, traffic

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.