By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY —The local governments of Iloilo City and Iloilo province jointly agreed to cancel a religious event with participants from South Korea, where the most number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been recorded outside of China.
“Upon the recommendation of our health officials and for everybody’s safety, the Run for Jesus event will no longer happen,” Mayor Jerry Treñas told Manila Bulletin.
Treñas and Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. of Iloilo province held an emergency meeting after learning that organizers were still preparing the stage for the Run for Jesus event on Thursday despite an earlier advisory that major events with large number of participants have to be postponed.
“The city government had to cancel all permits issued,” Treñas pointed out.
The February 27 event is supposed to gather more than 20,000 people from different churches in Iloilo City, the 42 towns of Iloilo province and a delegation from a South Korean church.
The religious event in partnership with the Iloilo Korean United Community Association (IKUCA) is supposed to have the participation of 45 South Koreans.
At least 20 South Koreans have already arrived for the event and flew in at the international airport in Kalibo town, Aklan province. Of the 20, at least four are believed to be already in Iloilo City.
Meanwhile, Treñas has asked the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to help track down these South Koreans, who are supposed to undergo quarantine after arriving in the country.