Davao City’s ban on face-to-face events extended to September 2022

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 02 Jan) — Mayor Sara Duterte has extended until September 12, 2022 the prohibition on face-to-face events in Davao City that may likely cause transmission of COVID-19.

In her Executive Order 69, series of 2021, released on December 29, Duterte prohibited all face-to-face events including inauguration, anniversary, thanksgiving, ribbon-cutting, blessing, turnover, groundbreaking activity, launching program, salo-salo, birthday, press conference, oath taking program, photo opportunity, retirement honors, welcome honors, testimonial program, summer outing, team building, and all other similar activities.

The prohibition applies to barangay, local and national government offices, agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled-corporations.

“There is a need to continue implementing existing protocols specifically to prevent mass gatherings following the emergence of COVID-19 variants, particularly the Delta and Omicron variants,” the order said.

The order said events that could possibly attract large crowds must be conducted on online platforms only.

Section 4 also provides that all face-to-face non-emergency essential government activities including trainings and seminars are suspended until September 12, encouraging offices to hold these events online. 

It said offices planning to pursue face-to-face non-emergency essential government activities may apply for exemption from City Mayor’s Office but asked organizers to  draft a “comprehensive plan on how to execute their non-emergency essential activity without creating a mass gathering situation.”

The order, however, allows all disaster and emergency activities including the distribution of financial, food, and non-food items.

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

Dr. Michelle Schlosser said during her interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) last Wednesday that there is no case of Omicron variant detected in the city as of that day but told the public to continue observing minimum public health protocols.

She added that local health authorities are anticipating a post-holiday surge.

As of January 1, DOH-Davao reported 43 total active COVID-19 cases with no new case reported, reporting 53,911 in total cases with 52,077 recovered and 1,791 total deaths. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)