Park exec denies ‘no shoot policy’
Orienting security guards, holding dialogues with professional photographers and putting up billboards stating the policy on the taking of pictures.
These are just some of the suggestions put forward by the tourism department’s National Parks Development Committee chairperson Juliet Villegas when asked what could be done about the “no photo shoot” controversy at Rizal Park in Manila.
Villegas denied that there was such a policy, pointing out that millions of visitors have freely taken personal photos of the park grounds for decades.
“We wish to inform the general public that there is no ‘no shoot policy’ in Rizal Park and Intramuros. In fact, we encourage the public and all the visitors to take as many photos of themselves, document their visits, to talk about it and share it with their families and friends all over the world,” Villegas said in a joint statement with Intramuros administrator Jun Capistrano.
Photographers earlier protested a supposed new park policy prohibiting them from taking pictures of the Rizal Monument and scenic spots in Intramuros.
They also questioned why commercial photographers were being required to pay a fee if they want to shoot in the park.
Villegas reiterated that only photographers doing a commercial shoot would be asked to secure a permit and pay the required fee. Commercial shoots include those for print or video advertisements and infomercials; and events such as pre-nuptials.
At Rizal Park, commercial photo shoot fees, depending on the place and number of hours, could go from P500 to P20,000, she said.
Villegas explained that some commercial shoots require the use of the park’s utilities like electricity or water, or assistance or added work from their staff. “They may also need to be guided to keep away from the flower beds or the fountains,” she said.
Villegas revealed plans to put up billboards around the park to make their photo shoot guidelines clear. At the same time, she expressed willingness to hold a dialogue with photographers who held a lightning rally in front of the Rizal Monument last week.
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