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Political rallies still prohibited amid pandemic, DILG reminds public

/ 06:25 PM December 02, 2021
Political rallies still prohibited amid pandemic, DILG reminds public

FILE PHOTO: Interior Secretary Eduardo Año. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday reminded political aspirants not to stage political rallies or any events that may be considered as superspreaders, especially amid the emergence of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.

DILG, in a statement, said events that gather a massive amount of supporters could easily compromise minimum public health standards.

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“Bawal pa po ang mga political rally. Hindi pa po campaign period. We have been seeing candidates, both national and local, staging political rallies here and there, which gather hundreds if not thousands of people. Hindi pa po tapos ang pandemya. Parating pa ang Omicron variant,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

(Political rallies are still not allowed. It is not yet the campaign period. We have been seeing national and local candidates staging political rallies here and there, which gather hundreds if not thousands of people. The pandemic is not over. The Omicron variant is still coming.)

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“We cannot put our guard down. The Omicron variant has already reached many countries and it’s only a matter of time before it reaches us,” he said.

However, Año explained that special gatherings may still be allowed but are subject to approval by their respective local government unit (LGU) provided that venue operational capacity and all MPHS are complied with and observed.

Año also explained that only caravans and motorcades were allowed because physical distance is usually held for a limited time only.

They are also held in open areas where the possibility of the transmission of the coronavirus is small.

“There is a time for everything and now is not the time to gather a huge number of people. Let’s wait for the campaign period. We are fortunate na bumababa ang kaso sa ating bansa but this is not the time to push our luck. COVID-19 is still here and we can’t be complacent,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to the Commission on Elections, the official campaign period begins on February 8, 2022, for national posts and March 25, 2022, for local elective positions, including the position of Members of the House of Representatives.

“The trouble here is with the low number of COVID-19 cases, many have become complacent. Ipinapaalala natin sa mga kandidato at LGU, bawal pa ang mga political rallies (we remind candidates and LGUs, political rallies are still forbidden),” Año reiterated.

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TAGS: 2022 elections, COVID-19, DILG, Eduardo Año, pandemic, political rallies, super spreader events
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