The local governments of Valenzuela and Navotas are skipping the Christmas celebrations this year to prevent mass gatherings, and as courtesy to folks who are still recovering from the economic impact of COVID-19.
Valenzuela calls off Christmas parties
Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian issued a memorandum on Thursday cancelling all Christmas partiesat city hall and other related offices.
"We are cancelling all Christmas parties. So wala. The reason being, number 1, alam naman natin these are hard economic times. Alam natin maraming naapektuhan ng pandemya so hindi naman maganda na ang ating mga kababayan sa Valenzuela kumbaga ay nahihirapan economically tapos nakikita nila yung mga public servant nila, tuloy pa rin sa mga parties," Gatchalian told GMA News.
(We are cancelling all Christmas parties. So none. The reason being, number 1, we know these are hard economic times. We know that many are affected by the pandemic so it won't look good to our Valenzuela residents to see their public servants proceed with the parties while they continue to suffer.)
“Pangalawa, gusto natin na lahat ng matitipid natin doon, magamit natin sa COVID response natin (Second, we want everything we save from the Christmas parties to be used for COVID response.)," he added.
An estimated P5 million could be saved from the cancelled Christmas parties, Gatchalian said. The holiday could be celebrated privately, he said.
Navotas skips this year's celebrations
Mayor Toby Tiangco said Navotas would also forego the holiday festivities. All funds intended for the Christmas celebrations will instead be used for COVID-19 response.
"Definitely sa LGU, walang Christmas party. Kasi yung Christmas party, hindi mo ma-exercise yung social distancing diyan eh (Definitely in the LGU, no Christmas party. Because in Christmas parties, you can't exercise social distancing there.)," Tiangco told GMA News.
The Navotas mayor is also skipping Christmas celebrations with his family.
“Noong ako ay natanong ng aking mga kapatid dahil ako ang panganay, sinagot ko nang diretsahan. So sabi ko, I think mas mabuti na huwag muna tayong magkita-kita this Christmas eve and this Christmas," he said.
(When my siblings asked me, as I am the eldest, I answered them straight: I think it's better if we don't see each other first this Christmas eve and Christmas.)