Mayor Evelio Leonardia has ordered the suspension of all public celebrations during the Feast of St. John the Baptist (San Juan Bautista), including the traditional practice of water splashing, in Bacolod City on Thursday, June 24, to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Leonardia in Executive Order 32 Series of 2021 issued Saturday, June 19, suspended any form of festivity, excursion, picnic, revelry, and/or similar public gatherings in open places such as roads, alleys, parks, squares, shorelines, beaches, and the like, at any time of the day on June 24.
Any traditional custom of water splashing and similar acts committed in public, such as public streets, sidewalks, workplaces, churches are also prohibited, he said.
Violators of the ban on water splashing will face prosecution for unjust vexation, the mayor said.
Bacolod City has been experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases with the Department of Health classifying it as a “high-risk” area for coronavirus, “reminding us that even more vigilance and caution must continue to be observed and exercised in matters of public safety and health protocols,” Leonardia said.
In view of the prevalent rebound of COVID-19 cases and the imminent threat of new variants, the Emergency Operations Center recommended that the traditional “San Juan” celebrations on June 24 be prohibited, he said.
Scientific studies show that unrestrained interaction of people can be an effective channel for spreading COVID-19, he added
Leonardia directed the barangay captains and their enforcement teams to assist the city government in enforcing EO 32.
He also called on them to cooperate with the City Legal Enforcement Team and the Philippine National Police in enforcing health and safety measures and protocols.
RESORTS IN 4 BRGYS TO CLOSE
Business establishments in barangays Punta Taytay, Pahanocoy, Alangilan, and Granada that cater to tourists have agreed to temporarily suspend their operations on June 24, a Bacolod Public Information Office press release said.
Among these establishments are beach resorts, mountain resorts, bars, restaurants, and coffee shops.
This was after Leonardia, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and other EOC officials held consultation meetings with them on June 18 and 19, to discuss the efforts of the city government to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Bacolod.
“This is a big boost to our efforts to contain the spread of the virus because we cannot afford to have the thousands of people who usually flock the beaches of Bacolod during the San Juan fiesta,” Leonardia said.
“June 24 is the feast of San Juan which usually gathers big crowds in these locations and this is what we want to avoid at a time like this. We continue to appeal for everybody’s cooperation in order to contain this deadly virus,” the mayor said.*