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Forego all fiesta celebration, Duterte tells Filipinos, as govt eases lockdown

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Forego all fiesta celebration, Duterte tells Filipinos, as govt eases lockdown

AS the government eases lockdown measures in the country, President Rodrigo Duterte urged Filipinos to “forego” the holding of fiesta celebrations and similar gatherings to avoid the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In his pre-recorded public address aired over state-run PTV-4 on Thursday night, Duterte acknowledged that different parts of the country were used to holding annual festivals every May.

“Sinasabi ko lang na Mayo, maraming fiesta (I am saying that there are so many festivals in May). But I think I’ll be more direct than what is written here. I don’t attribute it to any particular religion or what but there are a lot of fiestas because we are a predominantly Catholic country. So, ang hinihingi ko (So, what I am asking) is that you only not tone down but forgo kasi may batas (because we are implementing the law),” Duterte said.

“Forego to congregate, to crowd and to hold [fiesta]. There’s no problem. God’ knows we love Him but the problem is the necessary consequence of it all. Be mindful of that because we are still in the pandemic,” he added.

Duterte made the appeal after he decided to relax the quarantine restrictions in the National Capital Region Plus (NCR Plus) composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

NCR Plus will be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) “with heightened restrictions” from May 15 to 31, according to Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr.