Couples marrying this year told to keep celebration simple

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 April) — All couples scheduled to tie the knot this year must keep their celebrations simple to show empathy for those who are suffering from the impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Mayor Sara Duterte said.

“Most of the women want a decent wedding with 100 to 200 guests, a band, and much food. Our suggestion is, if you want a wedding that has a reception, we suggest that it be a simple celebration. Please be mindful of the other people who are helping you with your wedding, they are also going through a difficult time” she said over Davao City Disaster Radio (87.5) on Friday.

She said church weddings would not be prohibited once the extended enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is lifted.

A 15-day ECQ, enforced from April 7 until April 19, has been extended for another seven days until April 26.

Executive Order 25 released last Friday declared a period of mourning and vigilance from April 17 to December 31, 2020, prohibiting extravagant celebrations here as the global deaths due to the highly infectious novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reached more than 143,000.

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 is 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 warned the local government would take legal actions such as Article 25 of the Civil Code, which provides “thoughtless extravagance in expenses for pleasure or display during a period of acute public want or emergency may be stopped by order of the courts at the instance of any government or private charitable institution.”

“Even without the ‘mourning’ (EO 25), we would reach a point wherein there would still be no celebrations because that would be the basic requirement of the doctors that there should be no mass gathering. It is during mass gatherings that the virus can find the opportunity to spread,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)