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Two NegOcc cities prohibit Christmas parties, caroling

Two cities in northern Negros have imposed a ban on Christmas parties and caroling starting this week as part of the health and safety protocols to contain the spread of coronavirus disease 2019.

As of Thursday, Cadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante Jr. and San Carlos City Mayor Renato Gustilo have issued their respective executive orders (EOs) stating the prohibitions this December.

In EO 046-2020, Escalante underscored the continuing restrictions on mass gatherings.

“The continued restriction shall include private mass gatherings for Christmas parties, birthdays, and other celebrations. With the forthcoming Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, it is highly encouraged that only family members of the same household shall celebrate this time-honored Filipino tradition,” Section 1(c) of the EO said.

Meanwhile, Section 4 provided that “in order to prevent any possible spread of the virus in the locality, the traditional caroling, wherein persons go from one house to another for the purpose of singing holiday carols, is strictly prohibited”.

Escalante directed the Philippine National Police and the City Enforcement Unit to carry out the prohibitions.

As of December 9, Cadiz recorded 454 confirmed cases, including 411 recoveries, 21 active cases, and 17 deaths.

One case has been endorsed to another local government unit while four are transients or non-residents of Cadiz.

Meanwhile, in EO 269, Gustilo prohibited parties, reunions, social gatherings, caroling, and sporting events in San Carlos.

“The Emergency Operations Center has recommended the prohibition as proactive measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. The prohibition is also an expression of sympathy to city residents affected by lockdowns and strict quarantine protocols, and those who lost their jobs because of the pandemic,” the mayor said in the directive. Latest records posted on the city’s Facebook page showed that San Carlos had 424 confirmed cases, including 366 recoveries, 28 active cases, and 30 deaths.*PNA

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