Davao City cancels mass gatherings until December
Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) - April 18, 2020 - 12:00am

DAVAO CITY , Philippines – All mass gatherings here are cancelled until Dec. 31 as the city government declared a period of mourning and vigilance starting yesterday amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio issued the declaration under  Executive Order (EO) 25, noting that at least 143,000 people have died of COVID-19 worldwide.

“There is a need to emphasize the value of sympathy for the families of frontliners who died and who will die because of COVID-19... There is a need to impress upon everyone the value of empathy for those who are suffering and will continue to suffer the after effects of the pandemic,” the EO read.

Carpio said all city and national government celebrations, parties, anniversaries and festivities shall be cancelled while commemoration of important dates and legal holidays “should be kept short and must be in somber tone.”

Among those cancelled is the Kadayawan sa Dabaw, a festival, a celebration of bountiful harvest, which also showcases the culture and tradition of indigenous peoples in the city. The festival is set in August.

Founding anniversaries and barangay celebrations are also cancelled.

Carpio said private parties should be ”low-key” with no more than 25 guests if held in a public place.

“Big celebrations are advised to be postponed until 2021,” the EO stated.

Carpio urged the private sector to consider food distribution, feeding program or financial assistance to its employees instead of holding grand celebrations to mark important events.

She said the city government would file charges “in cases of thoughtless extravagance in expenses for pleasure or display.”

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