CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – A wedding that drew hundreds of guests and relatives in a high-class subdivision over the weekend drew strong protest from homeowners for holding a mass gathering during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The wedding held at the sports clubhouse of the subdivision last July 11, Saturday, gathered about 400 guests, including Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. and Nick Jabagat, head of the Cagayan de Oro City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department.
Some homeowners expressed their opposition to the wedding, with some of them placing signs on their vehicles saying they don’t allow mass gatherings in their subdivision. Photos of their protests were circulated on social media on the day of the wedding.
But city officials defended the holding of the wedding during Monday’s press briefing, saying they allowed the solemn event while complying with stringent health measures I place.
“We must not over-regulate. We have to accept that we are now living in the ‘new normal,’” said Antonio Resma, head of the city’s Regulatory and Compliance Board (RCB).
Dr. Lorraine Nery, city health officer, said they gave instructions to the clubhouse management and wedding organizers to implement the minimum health standards during the event.
Jabagat, one of the city officials who attended the wedding, said that everyone from the management, wedding organizer and families, complied with the health protocols of the government inter-agency task force. Guests and families were told the event will be cut short if violations of protocols were observed.
He said the staff of the CDRRMD and city health office came to the venue to assist in ensuring seating arrangements were made to ensure social distancing.
The wedding invitation of the couple included health guidelines and guests were required to present their medical certificate to be cleared to attend the wedding.
The bride and groom’s families assigned their own marshals to check if protocols are being followed. The bride was fetched by close family members to minimize physical interaction.
‘Beso-beso’ was not allowed,” Jabagat said, referring to cheek-to-cheek gestures often done by women when they greeted friends and relations.
Giant screens were put in place so guests could view the event through a live feed from a distance.
Mayor Oscar Moreno also came to defend the holding of the wedding ceremony, saying the families have informed him through a letter of holding the event.(davaotoday.com)