Cebu City bans caroling to stop COVID-19 spread
CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — Mayor Edgardo Labella has banned caroling in the city’s streets and neighborhoods to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“In order to ensure that the city’s programs and measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 is maintained, the City of Cebu sees the need to impose a ban on street caroling within Cebu City within the period of community quarantine,” Labella said in his Executive Order No. 104.
“We’re hoping our people will understand. We need to ban caroling in houses, in vehicles and on the streets. Whether we like it or not, the virus is still very much around,” he said.
The mayor directed personnel from the city’s Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement team and the Cebu City police to implement the order.
He cited the antimendicancy ordinance, implemented in 2015, that prohibited carolers from roaming the city’s streets.
The ordinance imposes a P500 fine or imprisonment of a maximum of five days for violators. An option is for the violator to render eight hours of community service or be meted with any of the three penalties, depending on the discretion of the court.
The city’s Emergency Operations Center and the Department of Health in Central Visayas earlier recommended to disallow caroling this year to sustain the city’s success in the fight against COVID-19.
Once tagged as COVID-19 hot spot in June, Cebu City managed to slow down the spread of the virus after over two months with the help of national officials.
As of Tuesday, the city had recorded 10,322 COVID-19 cases, with only 173 classified as active.
—Reports from Nestle Semilla and Ador Vincent Mayol
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