Davao City allows gatherings but issues stricter guidelines

File photo
File photo

THE City Government of Davao will still allow special gatherings despite its campaign against mass gathering to curb the spread of the Covid-19.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio issued on Monday evening, October 26, Executive Order (EO) 57, entitled "An Order Regulating Mass Gatherings and Prohibiting Non-Essential Travel Within Davao City," which will be implemented until December 31, 2020.

Duterte-Carpio said in an interview via 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday afternoon that the EO provided detailed provisions on the regulation of mass gatherings.

The mayor said there is a need to regulate mass gatherings in all public places to lower the risk of transmission, as "indoor, crowded, and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected person/s spend long periods of time with others, such as restaurants, choir practices, fitness classes, nightclubs, offices and or places of worship" can be vulnerable to the coronavirus transmission.

She added the movement of people within Davao City will be limited to accessing essential goods and services or for work only in keeping with the purpose of a community quarantine.

Mass gathering, as defined by the EO, is a gathering of people for the same event or activity. To avoid mass gathering, only 25 individuals will be allowed within the venue.

The EO specifically bans all mass gatherings and "unnecessary public parties" in the city, particularly all Halloween, trick or treat activities, Christmas, commemoration celebration, reunions, and other holiday parties. All parties shall only be for members of the same household inside their residences.

Exempted in the mass gatherings are buses, banks, hospitals, restaurants, and other similar gatherings where people are not gathered together for the same common purpose, the EO provides.

According to Section 20 of the EO, the city also allows gatherings for personal milestones, urgent government and business purposes, but shall be adapting some provisions.

A certain gathering will only allow 20 guests/participants, including the celebrant/organizer and five individuals for service providers/suppliers only. All other guests/participants can participate online or in another venue but will still be limited by the number of individuals mentioned above. Guests/participants cannot hop from one venue to the other.

A successive event of 25 guests/participants at a time may be allowed provided that there is a time for entry and exit of guests so that the two groups cannot gather together.

If an event or activity has no service providers/suppliers, the guests/participants can be increased to a maximum of 25 individuals.

The city still prohibits parades, motorcades, rallies and other gatherings in public places.

Rallies within the Freedom Park in Roxas Avenue would still be allowed, but only 25 individuals can participate and must be supervised by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the City Health Office (CHO) to ensure the observance of the minimum health protocols.

Government distribution of food or financial assistance can be increased to 50 individuals at a time provided that Section 1, or the basic health protocol in public places, is strictly implemented.

Other EO provisions

All government and private offices shall shift to online meetings. A face-to-face office or organization meeting of more than five individuals is prohibited, Section 3 of the EO states.

Religious venues and other places of worship are mandated to observe two-meter distance between members. Singing and unnecessary chatting among individuals will not be allowed. Members who are below 21 years old, 60 years old and above, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, other serious health risks, and pregnant women are prohibited from attending worship and must be provided with online, radio or television prayer opportunities.

All fitness clubs and gyms must be by appointment only. Admission must be limited to a maximum of five members per hour. Face masks must be worn inside the club or gym all the time.

Restaurants, carinderia and other food establishments can only allow customers to remove their facemasks when eating or drinking. This notice should be placed on every table. All servers must wear a face shield on top of their face masks.

Non-contact sports shall only be allowed as a form of exercise, which should be limited to a maximum of two hours daily with absolutely no sharing of equipment. Clubs and other establishments shall monitor the two-hour time limit for their members.

All travel inside Davao City shall only be for accessing goods and essential services, for work in offices and industries and daily maximum two-hour non-contact sports exercises. All leisure, entertainment, and non-essential activities are absolutely prohibited. Goods and essential service is defined as all goods and services relating to the human need for food, hospital/health and wellness/medicine, money, work or shelter.

Events and activities for leisure, entertainment, sports, gaming and amusement are also prohibited. All special permits for events and establishments related to the above are hereby deemed recalled and cancelled.


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