DILG tells aspirants, supporters: Political rallies still prohibited

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DILG tells aspirants, supporters: Political rallies still prohibited
© RTVM 42.26 million Filipinos registered for vaccination —Año

The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Thursday reminded political aspirants and their supporters for the May 2022 elections that political rallies are still not allowed due to the threat of the new coronavirus variant Omicron.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año underscored that special gatherings will only be allowed if permitted by the local government unit (LGU), and that all health protocols must be observed.

“Bawal pa po ang mga political rally. Hindi pa po campaign period” (Political rallies are still prohibited. The campaign period is far off), Año said in a statement.

“We have been seeing [aspirants] for both national and local positions staging political rallies here and there, which gather hundreds if not thousands of people,” he pointed out.

“We cannot put our guard down. The Omicron variant has already reached many countries and it’s only a matter of time before it reaches us,” he added.

Año appealed to political aspirants, their political parties, and supporters to refrain from holding nationwide rallies that draw in massive numbers of people, as the gatherings could be potential “super-spreaders.”

He said that only caravans and motorcades were allowed because the physical distancing is observed and these are usually held for a limited time.

“Naka-monitor ang mga kapulisan sa mga caravan or motorcade at sinisiguro nila na may physical distancing, hindi katulad sa mga political rally na mahirap ikontrol ang mga tao,” he said.

(Police monitor caravans or motorcades and ensure physical distancing is observed, unlike political rallies where crowd control could be a tough job.)

Meanwhile, Año reiterated that all types of gatherings of people are subject to operational capacities, compliance with minimum public health standards, and subject to the approval and monitoring by the LGUs concerned under the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

“There is a time for everything and now is not the time to gather a huge number of people. Let’s wait for the campaign period,” he added.

The campaign period for candidates running for national post will start on February 8, 2022.

Meanwhile, the campaign period for candidates in local elective posts is set from March 25, 2022. —LBG, GMA News

This article DILG tells aspirants, supporters: Political rallies still prohibited was originally published in GMA News Online.

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