Iloilo governor urges Ilonggos to shun Christmas traditions…for now

Published December 5, 2020, 8:32 AM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY—Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. is urging residents of Iloilo province not to engage in Christmas traditions because the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) remains a threat.

Unlike in previous years, the Iloilo Provincial Capitol complex is devoid of Christmas lights and decorations to avoid mass social gathering as COVID-19 continues to be a threat. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)

“We need to let go Christmas traditions [that can cause risk],” urged Defensor.

This was after Defensor issued Executive Order No. 183-G, specifying which Christmas traditions will be prohibited in the 42 towns and component city of Passi.

Among the prohibited activities are the traditional Christmas parties, light festivals, caroling, fireworks show, and large-scale family reunions.

Defensor also decided to skip the annual Christmas display at the complex of the Iloilo Provincial Capitol as to discourage people from flocking to one place.

The governor also cancelled the annual Christmas party for the provincial government.

“Let’s face it, Christmas is now different. If we cannot stop ourselves in this Christmas holidays, all our efforts will all be gone,” Defensor pointed out.

The governor added that if the people do not follow health protocols, Iloilo may be go back to a higher community quarantine status.

Meanwhile, religious traditions such as the Simbang Gabi would still be allowed in Iloilo province.  

However, Defensor stressed that the number of people who would be allowed inside churches would be limited.