MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday urged local government units to enforce a national government policy banning parties and mass gatherings as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government's memorandum circular no. 2021-058 directs local chief executives to intensify the regulation or prohibition of activities that may further spread the virus, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press conference.
"Tayo rin po ay nakikiusap sa ating mga local government units at sa ating publiko na ipinagbabawal pa rin po ang mga pagtitipon gaya ng mga parties na maaaring maging source ng superspreader events," she said.
(We are reminding our local government units and the public that gatherings like parties, which may be sources of super spreader events, are still banned.)
The national government, under the memorandum dated May 31, 2021, noted that fiestas, birthday parties, and gatherings by the beach or by the pool have been documented in various parts of the country despite the ongoing pandemic.
"Sa loob po ng joint memo circular na ito, tinatawagan po ang lahat ng ating local government units na mas paigtingin ang pagpapatupad ng minimum public health standards, mula sa pagpapatigil ng mga malalaking pagtitipon, hanggang sa pagpapatupad ng mask wearing, face shield, physical distancing at saka oras ng curfew," Vergeire said.
(The joint memo circular calls on the local government to be stricter in enforcing minimum public health standards, from banning mass gatherings to the wearing of face masks, face shields, as well as physical distancing and the imposition of curfews.)
"We urge the public to stay home and only go out when needed to prevent the transmission of COVID-19," she said.
The DOH did not clarify if it would ban all celebrations in public areas, including small gatherings and receptions.
"Para sa kaligtasan po ng lahat, kailangan ang walang mintis na pagsunod sa minimum public health standards upang maiwasan natin ang pagkakaroon ng panibagong surge," the Health Undersecretary said.
(For everyone's safety, we have to consistently follow the minimum public health standards to avoid another surge.)
In March, the capital region and nearby provinces were placed on a lockdown for a second time since the pandemic began after a surge in cases shortly after the arrival of the first COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
Video from the Department of Health