For the second time around, the singing of Christmas carols in the streets of Cebu and the traditional house-to-house caroling will be banned due to the prevailing pandemic.
Last year, the Interior and Local Government department banned Christmas caroling across the Philippines because of the pandemic. The DILG is still to issue a statement this year.
In the city of Cebu, however, the local police office has reminded the public as early as the first week of September that caroling is a violation of the city government’s executive order on social gathering.
“So far, based on the [Executive Order], it is prohibited,” said Police Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla in a report on the Freeman.
Aside from the order on the prohibition of social gatherings, the city has also an anti-mendicancy ordinance that prohibits carolers from roaming the city’s streets.
The ordinance imposes a 500-peso fine or imprisonment of a maximum of five days for violators.
An option is for the violator to render eight hours of community service or be meted with any of the three penalties, depending on the discretion of the court.
Christmas is one of the biggest holidays in the Philippines with Christmas carols heard as early as September 1.
Caroling is as much a part of Filipino Christmas as other traditions like the “Simbang Gabi” and “Noche Buena.”