DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 March) – Officials and personnel of the local government unit (LGU) here have been prohibited from joining “Run, Sara, Run” activities, including those that will be conducted outside Davao City, Mayor Sara Duterte said Monday.
During her regular program over the Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) the mayor said that she issued an executive order prohibiting LGU workers from joining political activities after around 60 individuals, including former and incumbent barangay officials, conducted a national caravan in Metro Manila despite her incessant reminder to call it off due to the alarming surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases there.
The city government, however, has not yet released a copy of the executive order as of posting.
Duterte said that prohibited activities include caravan, meeting, rally, parade, program and all other forms of political gatherings organized for the purpose of urging the presidential daughter to run for president in the 2022 election.
“Why do we need to prohibit our government personnel, including barangay officials, from joining political activities outside the city? Because traveling for non-essential purposes poses a danger to the health of travelers due to the pandemic,” she said.
She said that individuals who have traveled to areas with high COVID-19 cases can bring the virus upon their return to the city.
“Political activity is considered a non-essential travel, and people usually gather during political activities. I have not seen any political activity that does not draw in people. When people converge during mass gatherings, there is higher risk of virus transmission among themselves,” she said.
She said the conveners of the “Run, Sara, Run” caravan in Manila last March 21 have been placed in quarantine at a facility in the city.
Health authorities in the country detected an increasing number of cases of South African and UK variants in the National Capital Region and Cebu, including the latest variant called “P-3” that was first detected in the Philippines.
As of March 28, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao Region reported 84 new cases, bringing the total to 21,447, of whom 924 are active, 19,607 have recovered, and 916 ending in deaths.
Out of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 13,694 cases. Of these, 356 are active, 12,671 have recovered and 667 have died.
Davao de Oro reported 1,348 COVID-19 cases, Davao del Norte with 3,420, Davao del Sur with 1,447, Davao Occidental with 220 and Davao Oriental with 1,318.