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DILG: Outdoor caroling okay

Republika

Caroling is a yearly holiday tradition that was curbed by the coronavirus pandemic. Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya says that under Alert Level 2, it can resume in Metro Manila.


The DILG broke the news last November 6th. It’s seen as a positive sign of the times given the way caroling was prohibited last year to curb COVID-19 infection spikes over the holidays.


On the same day, the DOH explained that the NCR’s de-escalation in alert levels is justified given the improved metrics of the region. Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire noted that the downgrade was not a sudden move at all.


“We have based this on different metrics. [Over] the last two weeks, we saw that the health care utilization in the region was decreasing,” Vergeire said. “Now, its bed occupancy is less than 50%.”


A two-week growth rate of cases in Metro Manila is already in the negative, the DOH observed. This means there’s a considerable drop in the region’s average of new cases.


According to Malaya, outside caroling permission was brought about by videoke bars being allowed for fully vaccinated patrons. under multiple conditions such as 50% capacity. Provided, of course, that the National Capital Region (NCR) remains under Alert Level 2.


“If caroling is done outdoors,” Malaya said, talking to radio station dzBB, “then we do not see any violation in this because we’re under Alert Level 2.”

He went on to add that under the alert level system, when there are no prohibitions or regulations regarding something, it’s allowed.


All of that said, officials are calling on the public not to be complacent given the relaxed restrictions.


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