Still no traditional Christmas gift-giving at Duterte ancestral house this year

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his message at the gift-giving ceremony for barangay officials at the Almendras Gym Davao City Recreation Center on December 27, 2016. ALBERT ALCAIN/Presidential Photo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 Nov) – The Duterte family will again cancel their Christmas Day gift-giving tradition at the ancestral house of President Rodrigo R. Duterte along Taal Road, Central Park Subdivision, Barangay Bangkal, this city amid the continuing threats of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Mayor Sara Duterte said Monday.

The mayor told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) that no activities have been prepared for December 25 for the annual gift-giving tradition of the Duterte family.

Thousands of residents usually attend the gift-giving activity to get grocery packs.

“We want to avoid mass gathering and we do not want to be the reason why there will be a mass gathering,” she said.

This will be the second year that the traditional gift giving of the Duterte family has been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Same as last year, a few days before the event, we will assign our personnel there and put a tarpaulin explaining why there is no activity, and the reason is still related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

Last year, the traditional gift-giving pushed through but not at the Duterte ancestral house. To avoid mass gathering, officials of the city’s 182 barangays distributed house-to-house at least 38,000 grocery packs to selected beneficiaries from December 17 to 23. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)