Sara extends ban on non-vital face-to-face gatherings to Sept

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte (Photo from Davao City LGU’s official website)

DAVAO CITY—Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has upheld and extended the prohibition among local and national governments to organize all non-essential face-to-face events as Covid-19 infections showed a spike in cases this week, largely blamed on sudden loosening of restrictions during the holidays.

Mayor Sara signed Executive Order (EO) 69 series of 2021, which extended the prohibition to as far as September this year.

The non-essential face-to-face events prohibited under the new EO cover all events planned by the barangays, local and national government offices, including government-owned and -controlled corporations.

The order prohibits all events such as inauguration, anniversary, thanksgiving, ribbon-cutting, blessing, turnover, groundbreaking activity, launching a program, salo-salo, birthday, press conferences, oath-taking program, photo opportunity, retirement honors, welcome honors, testimonial program, summer outing, team building and all other similar activities.

All face-to-face non-emergency essential government activities including training and seminars are also suspended until September 12, 2022, and only allowed via online platforms.

Offices, however, may apply for exemption from the coverage of this section through a letter addressed to the City Mayor’s Office and must

include a comprehensive plan on how to execute their non-emergency essential activity without creating a mass gathering situation.

“There is a need to continue implementing existing protocols specifically to prevent mass gatherings following the emergence of new Covid-19 variants, particularly the Delta and Omicron variants,” she said in her EO.

The ban, according to her, has been extended until the end of the state of calamity in the country slated to end on September 12, 2022, as stated in the Presidential Proclamation 1218 series of 2021.

The Order, however, exempts all disaster and emergency activities including the distribution of financial, food, and non-food items. The EO said the distribution of food and non-food items that are not related to a disaster or emergency event should be distributed house to house in the form of contactless delivery by the organizer or in a distribution system where no mass gathering is conducted.

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