INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año has directed the local government of Candaba, Pampanga and the national police to investigate the conduct of duathlon event and file charges against its organizers if they will be found violating the health protocols imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID).
Reports reaching the DILG said that the (duathlon) competition organized by TEAMBRO through Mr. Sunny Pertua was conducted on December 6, without the necessary permit from the Candaba LGU.
In a statement, the DILG reminded all local officials and police stations nationwide that there is still no reason to lower their guards since the COVID-19 is still very much a threat to all.
All forms of mass gatherings, especially this holiday season, is strictly prohibited under IATF regulations because of the high risk of community transmission.
The event organizer it was learned, did apply a permit but it was not issued by the LGU hence the conduct of the duathlon contest was unauthorized and illegal.
Upon learning that the event pushed through without the needed permit, Candaba Police officers were dispatched to stop the competition from continuing.
Accordingly, the said organizers have written a letter to the Mayor to apologize for holding the event without a permit but the harm has been done.
According to the DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, while IATF Resolution No. 38 allowed non-contact sports in areas under MGCQ like the province of Pampanga, this has to be harmonized with other protocols on mass gathering and interzonal travel.
Under IATF guidelines, considerations for sporting events include limiting the number of participants to 50% of the venue and that the minimum public health standards be strictly observed. Spectators to allowable sporting events are also strictly prohibited.
Based on the reports and posts on social media, participants and spectators are seen to be violating physical distancing and were not wearing face masks and face shields.
“We also received reports that several participants who came from other provinces did not secure the necessary medical certificates and travel authority from the PNP,” Malaya said.