DAVAO CITY – The Davao city government has declined the request of academic intuitions to hold face-to-face graduation ceremonies as the city continues to regulate mass gatherings to stem the transmission of COVID-19, Mayor Sara Duterte said Monday.
During her interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Duterte said the city government disapproved pleas of schools to organize graduation ceremonies for their students as she maintained that regulating mass gathering is one of the major pillars in the prevention of COVID-19.
She said several people are expected to gather during face-to-face graduation.
“We did not approve all requests for face-to-face graduation because one of the pillars in the prevention of COVID-19 is to prevent mass gathering, and graduations will really put so many people together in one place,” she said.
She added that the local government has not changed the implementation of guidelines in establishments such as physical distancing, wearing of facemasks, and handwashing to control the spread of the infections.
Under Section 19 of Executive Order (EO) No. 13 released on March 16, limited face-to-face or in-person attendance for higher educational institutions and post-graduate courses is allowed for the “purposes of examinations and laboratory learning provided that the distancing of not less than one meter between individuals is strictly observed.”
But face-to-face or in-person classes are prohibited.
It added that a gathering of more than 25 individuals for a single event or activity in all public places remains prohibited, except for “essential meetings and social events” permitted under the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2021-001 of the Department of Tourism and Department of Trade and Industry.
Permitted essential meetings include workshops, trainings, seminars, congresses, conferences, conventions, board meetings, colloquia, conclaves, symposia, company and government recognitions, and press conferences while permitted social events are debut and birth anniversary parties, weddings ceremonies and receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers.
Under the JMC, essential meetings are allowed at 50 percent of the maximum venue capacity for up to eight hours while social gatherings at 30 percent for up to three hours.