(Eagle News) — The Department of the Interior and Local Government has reminded candidates and their supporters that political rallies are still not allowed, noting that they could be “super-spreaders” amid the Omicron threat.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año made the statement following what he said were gatherings of supporters for both national and local positions “here and there, which gather hundreds if not thousands of people.”
He said these gatherings will only be allowed if the local government unit (LGU) that has jurisdiction gives the go-signal for them and should be on the condition that health protocols will be followed.
Besides, Año said the campaign period hasn’t officially started yet.
“We cannot put our guard down. The Omicron variant has already reached many countries and it’s only a matter of time before it reaches us,” he said.
He s aid, so far, only caravans and motorcades are allowed because these are usually held for a limited time.
Año said that all types of gatherings of people are subject to operational capacities, compliance with minimum public health standards, and subject to the approval and monitoring by the LGUs concerned under the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
“There is a time for everything and now is not the time to gather a huge number of people. Let’s wait for the campaign period,” he added.
The campaign period for candidates running for national posts starts on February 8, 2022.
Meanwhile, the campaign period for candidates in local elective posts starts on March 25, 2022.