More town fiestas cancelled, reset over COVID-19
Eva Visperas, Artemio Dumlao (The Philippine Star) - March 4, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Town fiestas in Bayambang, Pangasinan and Mankayan, Benguet have been added to the list of crowd-drawing events that were either cancelled or rescheduled as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-2019). 

In an advisory issued on Monday, the Bayambang Pista’y Baley 2020 said the municipal government led by Mayor Cezar Quiambao decided to cancel the town fiesta to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We assure everyone that there is no recorded case of COVID-19 here… and the LGU (local government unit) is doing everything in its power to ensure that it stays that way,” the advisory read.

“We have been preparing for this for months, so it is with a heavy heart that we have to come to this decision,” it added.

Donations for the town fiesta amounting to P5 million will instead be used as seed money for the Bayambang Poverty Reduction Plan’s projects, the organizing committee said.

The town fiesta, which is in honor of St. Vincent Ferrer, had been set on April 5.

In Benguet, the town fiesta in Mankayan was rescheduled from March 9 to 15 to April 20 to 26.

Mayor Frenzel Ayong said the postponement was a consensus of members of the municipal council, depart- ment heads of the municipal government, barangay official, representatives from the education sector and community leaders, among other stakeholders. 

“We reached a collective decision to reset the activities… to allow us time to assess the situation… We hope the situation will stabilize in the next few weeks so we can plan our future strategies,” Ayong said. 

He stressed the need to proceed with the celebration to remind both residents and visitors of the history of the town, especially as a major mining area.

 Among the activities lined up for the town fiesta is the signing of a sisterhood agreement with the municipal government of Pugo in La Union.

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