Davao City to ban face-to-face government events starting Wednesday 

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews /24 May) – The City Government of Davao will ban the face-to-face activities of government agencies here effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday until the state of calamity in the country is lifted, following an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the city, Mayor Sara Duterte said Monday.

During her program aired over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Duterte said that local health authorities decided to impose new restrictions on gatherings after tracing new cases to government events.

Prohibited events include inauguration, anniversary, thanksgiving, ribbon-cutting, blessing, turnover, launching program, oath-taking, photo opportunity, retirement honors, welcome honors, testimonial program, summer outing, team building, salo-salo (get-together party), birthdays and all other similar activities.

“Based on our contact-tracing data, government events have become sources of infection. This is not only happening during the recent surge but also even before the surge. Both the national and local government offices are guilty,” she said.

The order will cover the barangay and local governments, and national agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations, according to Duterte.

She said that government instrumentalities should shift to virtual events, since these do not require the physical gathering of people, to cut the transmission of COVID-19 infections.

“There is no problem with online platforms. Virtual events will have no problem because there is no risk of COVID-19 transmission,” she said.

She said that face-to-face government trainings or seminars are suspended until August 31, 2021.

But she said the city will continue to allow activities related to disaster- and emergency-related responses, including the distribution of financial assistance and food and non-food items.

Duterte said the distribution of food and non-food items that are not related to a disaster or emergency event should be distributed house-to-house, in a form of “contactless delivery by the organizer or in a distribution system where no mass gathering is conducted.”

She added these include, but are not limited to, the distribution of livelihood kits, information materials, government relief or food aid and community pantry.

As of May 23, the Department of Health-Davao reported 267 new cases, bringing the total to 26,067, with 2,015 active, 22,998 recoveries and 1,054 deaths in the region.

Out of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 15,861 cases, with 1,015 active, 14,118 recoveries and 728 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 1,824 cases, Davao del Norte with 4,820, Davao del Sur with 1,746, Davao Occidental with 264 and Davao Oriental with 1,552. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)