GenSan mayor’s resort closed for COVID-19 protocol violations | Inquirer News

GenSan mayor’s resort closed for COVID-19 protocol violations

/ 09:04 PM April 21, 2021

CLOSED. Battle-ready policemen stand guard at the entrance of Tropicana Beach Resort in General Santos City as city hall officials serve a temporary closure order of the beach resort for violations of Covid19 safety protocols. The resort, owned by the family city mayor Ronnel Rivera, is where a free-for-all among partygoers happened during a reggae party on Saturday night, April 17, dubbed “Rise Up Reggae Night Jam in celebration of 4:20.” Photo by Rommel G Rebollido

GENERAL SANTOS CITY—A city government official has ordered the temporary closure of a beach resort, owned by the city mayor’s family, after it hosted a party that violated COVID-19 health protocols on Saturday (April 17).

Policemen escorted city officials in serving the closure order on Monday (April 19) on the resort owned by the family of Mayor Ronnel Rivera.

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Geraldine Zamora, head of the city licensing and permits office, said officials decided to temporarily suspend the license to operate of Tropicana Beach Resort at the village of Tambler for violations of health protocols.

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The resort hosted the party dubbed “Rise Up Reggae Night Jam in Celebration of 4:20,” which the local Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19 had not allowed when organizers sought a permit to hold the event.

Dave Areglado, executive assistant to the mayor, in a note he signed said the local IATF denied the request for a permit.

A video went viral on social media showing an unruly crowd among those who attended the party, ignoring safety protocols on physical distancing and wearing of face masks.

Zamora said the order cited violations of IATF regulations which included defiance of the IATF refusal to issue a permit, failure to implement physical distancing and violating a midnight to 4 a.m. curfew.

Zamora’s order was silent on the duration of the suspension of the resort’s permit to operate. She also did not mention if any penalties await the party organizers and management of the resort.

It was not clear if the party was an advanced celebration of the cannabis-culture red-letter day 4/20 in the United States.

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In Zamboanga City, authorities defended the gathering of at least 500 people during the birthday of Assistant Social Welfare Secretary Jade Jamolod last April 15 in the gymnasium at the village of Baliwasan supposedly to receive government aid.

According to Elmeir Apolinario, city disaster risk reduction and management officer, Jamolod didn’t violate any quarantine protocol in holding the event at the gym of Zamboanga City Polytechnic College.

Apolinario said the event had a permit from the local government.

Jamolod distributed P3,000 in cash and a sacks of food items to 441 musicians and 67 journalists in the city.

“During the pandemic, the hardest hit are musicians,” said Jamolod in a phone interview.

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“They hardly earn because of quarantine protocols. They cannot perform. They also expressed the need to help them,” Jamolod added. WITH A REPORT BY JULIE S. ALIPALA

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TAGS: COVID-19, GenSan

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