Palo town in Leyte bans visitors, cancels annual fiesta due to COVID-19

TACLOBAN City - The town where the Archdiocese of Palo, one of the largest administrative diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, and the center of Catholic faith in Eastern Visayas has banned visitors following its cancellation of activities for its annual fiesta on August 6 in honor of its patron Sr. San Salvador.

In an executive order, PaloMayor Ann Petilla said non-residents of the municipality and non-residents of the barangays celebrating the town fiesta are prohibited to celebrate, attend, and visit residents celebrating the town fiesta from August 5 to 7.

The mayor has also directed the local police to establish checkpoints in all entry and exit points leading to the town center and to deny entry to all non-residents. 

“Families and residents within the town proper are allowed to privately celebrate the town fiesta in their respective residences,” the mayor said.

A liquor ban has also been imposed.

"The consumption, sale, purchase, and transportation of intoxicating liquor into the Municipality is hereby declared unlawful from August 5 until August 7," Petilla announced.

The official warned that violators will face revocation of their business permits and closure of establishments without prejudice to further prosecution under penal laws.

Socio-civic and cultural activities, pageant, disco, show, and competitions that tend to attract a large number of crowds and attendees were also prohibited.

"To effectively promote and observe physical and social distancing, all barangay basketball courts and plaza shall continue to be closed to the public for close-contact sports while the community quarantine is in effect," she added.

Palo is under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) until August 15, 2020.

As of August 5, 2020, Palo has 35 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 19 recoveries and 16 active cases.