EOC to public: Step up compliance during Misa de Gallo in preparation for Sinulog 2021
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is urging the public to be more compliant during the Misa De Gallo 2020, especially those who are attending the masses at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
This as the city government is studying the movement of the crowd at the Basilica in preparation for the annual Sinulog Festival in January 2021.
For the second day of the Misa de Gallo, the Basilica was still filled with people attending the mass, with those staying outside, particularly at the Osmeña Boulevard, less mindful of the social distancing protocol.
This has drawn concern from the city government as a similar–or even worse–situation may occur during the Sinulog Festival.
“Admittedly it’s a concern,” said Councilor Joel Garganera, the deputy chief implementor of the EOC. “But we at the EOC are doing our best to be on top of the situation. As you know, we can only do our best. Ultimately, it’s really up to the people to protect themselves and their families.”
Learn from past lessons
The councilor added that the city government has to draw the line in apprehending the parishioners because there is sensitivity in religious activities.
But he reminded the public that in the past 11 months, the surge of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases has been preceded by religious and cultural practices such as the Holy Week and the Kalag-kalag season.
“This is not only true in Cebu City but nationwide and in other countries as well. We need to learn from these lessons. Locally, we have met yesterday with our uniformed partners to increase their presence as much as possible to impose better crowd control and we are exploring more measures to help mitigate the situation such as not allowing parking inside the church premises and stricter enforcement of the wearing of face masks and face shields,” said Garganera.
The only way for the pandemic to be controlled while awaiting for the arrival of the vaccines in the country would be for the people to meet the city government halfway, through compliance.
“We need to meet halfway. As I always said, the government can only do so much. We need the people to step up,” said the councilor.
The EOC, together with the police, health authorities, and the rest of the city government continue to assess and study the human behaviors during the Misa De Gallo to conduct the proper interventions and apply mitigating measures for the upcoming Sinulog 2021.
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