DAVAO CITY – Companies and private offices in Davao City have been told to defer the holding of Christmas parties this year to show sympathy for grieving families and frontline health workers amid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
Mayor Sara Duterte said Christmas festivities would be “inappropriate” in the time of pandemic as the city is still confronted with a surge in the number of the COVID-19 cases, which forced her to issue an order declaring April 17 to December 31, 2020, as a period of “mourning and vigilance.”
“If we can remember, we issued an executive order. This is a period of vigilance and mourning. It’s vigilance because there is a pandemic and, if you can see, it is worsening here in our city. This is a time for mourning because we have over 90 deaths,” she said.
As of October 13, the Davao City has reported 2,416 cases with 1,799 recoveries and 103 deaths, the highest in Davao Region, according to Department of Health. Davao de Oro recorded 244, Davao del Norte with 395, Davao del Sur with 246, Davao Occidental with 88, and Davao Oriental with 290.
Duterte said Dabawenyos must empathize with grieving families and support heath care workers, who are on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19 pandemic.
She urged the public to hold off big celebrations to avoid mass gatherings, which could potentially hasten the spread of the disease.
“Parties are not really appropriate this time. Plus, of course, mass gatherings, these are number 1 super spreader of the infections,” she said.
In her EO, the city and national government celebrations, parties, anniversaries, and festivities shall be cancelled; commemoration of important dates and legal holidays should be kept short and must be in somber tone; all barangays shall refrain from extravagant celebration of their fiesta while all founding anniversaries/ araw ng barangay celebrations will be cancelled.
It added private parties to mark personal or family milestones should be kept low key and modest, meaning a celebration in a public place with no more than 25 guests, while those who want to pursue big celebrations can do so next year.
The private sector was likewise advised to adhere to the requirements, recommending a food distribution, feeding program or financial assistance to their employees in place of grandiose celebrations to mark their important events, it said.
Duterte also released Executive Order 55 last Monday for the reimposition of curfew and liquor ban from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting October 15.