THE annual fluvial parade for the fiesta celebration of St. Peter the Apostle, locally known as Apung Iru, in Apalit town, Pampanga is canceled due to standing threat of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
For the second consecutive year, Mayor Oscar Tetangco, Jr. announced that no grand celebration will be held during the three-day fiesta on June 28 to 30.
Tetangco said holding of festivities remains unsafe despite the ongoing vaccination of priority persons.
"As of today, only 2 percent of our population in Apalit have been vaccinated, which is far from the target 70 percent to attain herd immunity against the virus," the mayor said.
He further announced that only residents of this town are allowed to hear mass at St. Peter the Apostle Parish and viewing of Apung Iru at the Cansinala Shrine.
He reminded that only 50 percent of the church's capacity is allowed and minimum health standards, such as wearing of face mask and face shield, checking of temperature and observance of social distancing, will be strictly enforced.
For those who cannot physically attend mass, live streaming will be available at the official Facebook page St. Peter the Apostle Parish-Apalit, Pampanga.
Meanwhile, Tetangco also announced that checkpoints will be installed at the boundaries of the town, as well as in every barangay to ensure that only residents here, those with official business, or those passing through are allowed to enter Apalit.
Liquor ban will also be implemented from June 26 to July 1 to further discourage celebration and strictly enforce social distancing.
"We are asking for the cooperation of everybody. Let us not make the same mistake as last year where we experience a surge ib Covid-19 cases because some of us are stubborn enough," Tetangco said.
He added: "Faith cannot be canceled and fiesta cannot be suspended but we can avoid grand celebration for the sake of everyone's safety."