Pasalamat festival 2021
canceled due to Covid-19 threat
Due to the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic currently being experienced in the country, the city government has canceled the usual big celebrations during the Pagadian City’s annual fiesta celebration on January 17.
This was announced by Mayor Samuel Co at a press conference held at the mayor’s office recently.
Co said there is a big difference in celebrating the city fiesta this year compared to previous years, as the local government cancelled major activities to prevent people from being infected with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic; a health crisis that we face today.
To protect parishioners safe from the virus, the city officials and the Diocese of Pagadian through Bishop Ronald Lunas jointly decided to cancel the usual activities such as thanksgiving festival, concelebrated mass, and fluvial parade which are the highlights of the annual event which is traditionally witnessed and attended by thousands of people in the city and towns in Zamboanga del Sur province and neighboring places, ”said Co.
Mayor Co explained that the novena mass is still being held by the catholic church so that the people can thank their patron Sr. Sto. Nino, with the church administration strictly enforcing the health protocol.
“Church authorities have placed markings on chairs in compliance with social distancing implemented by the department of health (DOH) to prevent churchgoers from being infected with the virus,” Co said.
As an exemption, the local government permitted the holding of bicycle race as this kind of sport event does not attract many people. The racing, which will be attended by bicycle enthusiasts, will be held from the rotunda to the city hall.
On the eve of the city festival on January 16, the Mayor announced that the Department of Agriculture (DA) will distribute rice seeds and fertilizers to identified farmer beneficiaries, while the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will provide fishing gears to identified fishermen for their livelihood.
Meanwhile, P9-M livelihood assistance will be given to 600 poor people severely affected by COVID-19, with each one to receive P15,000 from the Welfare Department.
Another 2,000 unemployed residents will benefit from the P10-M Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program of the Labor Department through Secretary Silvestre Bello. Under the program, each beneficiary will work for a minimum period of 10 days.
Co explained that the celebration of the fiesta, is not only about festivities but it also aims to provide essential services to poor people with the help of the national government offices, so that they can slowly recover from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. (NBE/GCC/PIA9 /Zamboanga del Sur)