LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal government recently agreed to line-up simple but meaningful activities to celebrate this year’s Strawberry Festival, the town’s major crowd drawing event, to ensure the safe conduct of the aforesaid activity.
Based on the agreement made by the members of the festival steering committee, the events on March 19, 2021, the supposed day devoted for the Strawberry festival’s major events, will include the indigenous ritual followed by an ecumenical mass and a tree planting involving concerned sectors of the municipality.
Further, he also disclosed that an event will be organized by a private higher education institution that focuses on mental health care which is timely with the prevailing situation among the people caused by the heavy impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Mayor Salda claimed that municipal officials opted to do the simple but meaningful celebration of the Strawberry festival even if the status of the municipality was downgraded to modified community quarantine (MGCQ) because of the observance of health and safety protocols to contain the possible rapid spread of the virus that might compromise the existing health care system and stress the limited number of frontliners.
Last year, the annual conduct of the Strawberry festival was out rightly cancelled due to the Luzon-wide lockdown to contain the spread of the virus in the municipality.
According to him, the municipal government is basing its actions in temporarily suspending the conduct of crowd drawing events on existing community quarantine guidelines that crafted by the national, provincial and municipal inter-agency task forces on emerging infectious diseases because the primordial consideration being prioritized is the health and safety of the people.
While the municipal task force allowed the opening of qualified open and spacious tourist destinations for Baguio and Benguet residents, the municipal chief executive stipulated there are still restrictions on the conduct of mass gatherings following the emergence of the UK variant of the virus in the municipality to avoid the possible surge in COVID cases.
He asserted that the members of the task force will remain cautious in coming out with decisions on easing up on the prevailing community quarantine guidelines to ensure that mass gatherings will be avoided to prevent the further spread of the deadly virus as the new variant has complicated the current situation in the municipality.
La Trinidad, Benguet’s capital town, recorded the highest number of COVID cases in the province since the implementation of the various levels of community quarantine in the different parts of the country since the discovery of the cases in the country that started early last year.