NegOcc cancels 27th Panaad Festival amid Covid-19 threat

The Negros Occidental provincial government has cancelled the staging of the 27th Panaad sa Negros Festival on April 20 to 26 amid the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) threat.

The development came after Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer met with the mayors of the towns and cities during the Negros Association of Chief Executives assembly held at Nature’s Village Resort in Talisay City on Monday.

The top provincial officials and the local chief executives unanimously agreed to cancel this year’s festival.

“Despite the initial preparations, the health, safety and well-being of all Negrosanons are still the priority,” Lacson said.

On Monday afternoon, organizers also announced the cancellation in a statement posted on the official Facebook page of the Panaad sa Negros Festival 2020.

“We are all excited for Panaad sa Negros Festival 2020. However, the health and safety of our fellow Negrenses are our top priority,” organizers said.

“We promise to bring you the best Panaad sa Negros Festival in the future. For now, stay healthy and keep safe everyone!” they added.

Panaad sa Negros, dubbed as the “Festival of All Festivals”, showcases the 32-themed pavilions of each city and municipality of the province, including the capital Bacolod City, designed either as replicas of their own municipal or city hall, or their famous products.

This year’s Panaad Festival, supposedly the first under the leadership of Lacson and Ferrer, was launched on February 11 with the theme, “The Future is Now!”

At that time, the governor said the provincial government will continue preparing for Panaad 2020 as the Covid-19 may no longer exist in April.

The governor, however, said the province is willing to cancel or postpone the festival if the need arises so as not to sacrifice the health of its people.

Before midnight on Sunday, the governor issued Executive Order No. 20-15, ordering the closure of borders, ports and airports in Negros Occidental until April 14 as part of the province’s intensified measures against Covid-19.

During the meeting, Lacson asked the mayors to get involved and cooperate in the border control operations and encouraged them to report and monitor the persons under monitoring (PUMs) in their respective localities, especially passengers coming from Manila.

On Friday, Lacson signed EO No. 20-13, declaring that all passengers arriving from Metro Manila starting March 14 will be considered as PUMs and will be asked to undergo a 14-day home quarantine upon their arrival in the province, and EO No. 20-14, suspending the graduation and moving-up ceremonies until further notice in all levels in all private and public schools in the municipalities and component cities of Negros Occidental.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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