BACOLOD CITY – Mayor Evelio Leonardia has suspended the curfew hours here on the eve of both Christmas and New Year to allow residents more time to celebrate the two occasions amid the city’s improving coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) situation.
“This is in observance of Filipino customs and traditions of celebrating Christmas and to welcome the New Year,” Leonardia said in Executive Order (EO) 82 released on Sunday afternoon.
Curfew hours here have been set from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. until the end of the year.
Since Dec. 1, the curfew was imposed from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. as the city reverted to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status. However, it was shortened to 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., starting Dec. 15 to accommodate those attending the nine-day dawn masses from Dec. 16- 24.
Before suspending the curfew during the two holidays, Leonardia said he conducted a series of consultations with the city officials and the members of the Emergency Operations Center to determine the feasibility, practicality, and safety of such policy.
The mayor cited the EOC data showing a significant drop and improvement in Covid-19 cases in the past several weeks, particularly in the reported daily positive cases, recovery rates, hospital capacity utilization rate, and active cases.
“The data have convinced us that suspending the curfew hours on December 24 and 31 is now an option we can afford to take provided all other existing health protocols shall remain in full force and effect,” Leonardia said.
As of Sunday night, Bacolod has 5,558 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 5,262 recoveries, 123 active cases, and 173 deaths.
Meanwhile, EO 81 has banned face-to-face caroling as part of the guidelines on the conduct of Christmas and New Year gatherings and other merry-making activities in the city.
“Traditional caroling or the act of going house to house to sing Christmas carols is prohibited,” the directive said. (PNA)