The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) clarified that essential gatherings are allowed under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) with strict implementation of minimum public health protocols. Rustico B. Dangue, Local Government Operations Officer of Municipality of San Vicente explained that this is stated under Memorandum Circular No. 2021-050.
Proper wearing of facemask, face shields, and social distancing should be adhered at all times to prevent the possibility of local transmission. Dangue likewise stressed that only half of the capacity of a venue shall be allowed.
“Sa MGCQ, 50 percent ng carrying capacity ng venue ang dapat i-observe plus ang minimum health protocols. Ang essential gathering hindi lamang po iyong ginagawa ng national government or ng local government units, even churches or other private – ‘yung mga corporations they can do essential gathering.,” – Dangue said in one of the regular meetings of the Municipal Inter-Agency Task Force (MIATF) recently.
Dangue further explained that organizers are obliged to submit their applications for the essential gatherings with the local IATF, together with venue designs, which should adhere to safety protocols; strict compliance of social distancing; number of guests; and a logbook of all attendees for the purpose of contact tracing.
“Ang kailangan lang natin when there are proposed mass gathering activities na pu-pwedeng pumasa sa omnibus guidelines ay mayroong corresponding written application at kasama po rito ang disenyo ng mass gathering, yung lugar na pagdarausan, bilang ng mga partisipante na target at saan mangagaling ang mga participants,” He added.
Other gatherings like weddings, religious and all government gatherings intended for public service may be allowed with the strict implementations of the guidelines/protocols.
“Pinapayagan ang kasal pero according to our local protocols hindi tayo p’wedeng tumanggap ng mga bisita coming from outside of San Vicente,” said MLGOO Dangue.
“Yung religious rites sa simbahan o any sect ay pinapayagan provided na 50 percent lamang po ang kanyang magiging holding capacity.”- Dangue expressed.
However, illegal gambling and cockfighting are still not allowed under the law. Mass procession is likewise prohibited during fiestas. Dangue appealed to his constituents to still be vigilant and always observe protocols and guidelines being implemented by the local government against COVID-19.