Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Wednesday said that any form of parade and related activities for the religious festivities in January will not be allowed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Domagoso, in an Interview on Dobol B sa News TV, asked devotees for understanding, explaining that he is only considering their safety from the disease.
“Ito po ang posisyon ng siyudad. Ito po ay nakausap na namin ‘yung mga tao sa simbahan. Sinabi namin [na] any form of parade will not be allowed,” Domagoso said.
“Pagpasensiyahan niyo na ako. Patawarin nawa ako ng Diyos pero ang iniisip ko lamang ang kaligtasan niyo,” Domagoso added.
The festivities in honor of the Black Nazarene and Sto. Niño are celebrated annually in January, which usually involve processions. Both occasions are participated in by huge crowds.
Asked if the city government would allow the “Pahalik” or the kissing or wiping of the image of the Black Nazarene, Domagoso said the activity is also prohibited.
Domagoso encouraged those opposing the city government’s decision to consider the danger in conducting processions and other related activities amid the pandemic.
“Let’s be practical about our situation,” Domagoso said.
“There is danger. Let’s accept facts. Let’s accept science. Let’s accept reality. Marami pang paraan para mapalapit sa Diyos,” he said.
The city government announced last month the cancellation of the Traslacion in January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although Manila recorded below 400 new cases of COVID-19 for the past two days, there is still a risk of COVID-19 transmission in the city, Domagoso said.
Meanwhile, Domagoso appealed to shoppers in Divisoria to strictly observe minimum health standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19, after it was reported that many of them were ignoring physical distancing.
In the same Dobol B sa News TV interview, Domagoso said the city government already ordered the Manila Police District and Manila Traffic Parking Bureau to deploy more marshals in the area.
“Kakaiba po ang panahon ngayon. Ngayon po ay may pandemya at impeksyon,” Domagoso said.
“Nakikisuyo po ako, wear your mask. Kung kaya niyong bumili, bumili kayo ng face shield. Wash your hands and practice physical distancing,” he said.
On Monday, shoppers were seen not observing social distancing as they walked around Divisoria, ignoring the tarpaulins urging them to observe health protocols. Divisoria is known to be a bargain center.
“Talagang hindi mo mapipigilan ang tao na magkamit ng diskwento o murang bilihin,” Domagoso said.
According to Domagoso, the city recorded below 400 new cases of COVID-19 for the past two days.
Domagoso pointed out that there is still a risk of COVID-19 transmission in Manila.