The city government will strictly enforce the “no-caroling” and “no Christmas party” policy to avoid mass gatherings, Mayor Edgardo Labella said on Tuesday.
In a press conference, Labella explained that caroling organized by groups would invite crowds, making people vulnerable to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) transmission.
“I hope that our carolers would understand our point here that like other traditions, we tend to postpone caroling. We are still in the middle of the pandemic,” he said.
Labella also called out street carolers who could be apprehended by local authorities if they are found singing in front of public utility vehicles and private cars stopping at intersections.
He cited the Anti-Medicancy Ordinance, implemented in 2015, that prohibits carolers from roaming the city streets.
“Of course, we will give them the chance to stop their caroling activities,” Labella said.
He also announced that he canceled the Christmas party gathering for Cebu City employees this year so as not to violate the protocol against mass gatherings.
It will also be an expression of sympathy to city residents affected by lockdowns and strict quarantine protocols and those who lost their jobs because of the pandemic, Labella said.
“I encourage private enterprises to dispense with the holding of Christmas party,” he added. “I hope they understand that this policy is for the good of everyone because the virus is still very much around.” (PNA)