As part of the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Malacañang encouraged couples to postpone their wedding in Metro Manila.
Speaking to Palace reporters, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said love can wait but the threat of COVID-19 cannot be stopped.
“Ito yung struggle natin (This is our struggle) but this is the reality of life. Kaya nga ang panawagan namin, alam natin na timeless at boundless naman ang pag-ibig (That’s why we’re making this appeal. We know that love is timeless and boundless). What is one-month postponement for love?” Nograles said during the “Laging Handa” press briefing.
The Palace official made the statement in the wake of the rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered that Metro Manila and the entire island of Luzon be under an enhanced community quarantine.
Under the enhanced community quarantine, domestic land, air, and sea travel to and from Luzon are prohibited.
The Chief Executive also ordered the strict observation of social distancing and the prohibition of mass gatherings in the metropolis.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said couples who would postpone their scheduled nuptials during the quarantine period in Metro Manila may ask for a refund to their respective wedding suppliers.
Lopez said they can make a complaint before the Department of Trade and Industry’s office in case the suppliers refuse to grant the refund.
“Dapat may refund kasi force majeure (unforeseeable circumstances) ‘yun. Huwag silang matakot (There should be a refund because the situation is a force majeure. They should not be afraid to ask for refund),” the trade chief stressed.
“There should be a refund because the situation is a force majeure. They should not be afraid to ask for refund.”
Should couples refuse to rethink their wedding plans, they can opt to limit the number of their guests to ensure the strict compliance with the “social distancing” measure imposed by the government, the trade head added.
“’Yung social distancing, kailangan ma-observe. Bawal ang mass gathering eh. Kung hindi nila mapigilan or i-move ang kasalan, I think, pwede nilang gawin yung bawasan na lang (Social distancing must be observed. Mass gathering is prohibited. If the wedding cannot be stopped or moved, I think they can limit the number of their guests),” he said.
“If the wedding cannot be stopped or moved, I think they can limit the number of their guests.”
Asked as to how many guests a couple should invite, Nograles said it “depends on the size of the room.”
In observing social distancing, a person should keep someone at arm’s length, he said.
Nograles also warned that couples need to make certain adjustments during their wedding.
“Paano magki-kiss ang couple? Paano ang distansya ng couple? Ang daming adjustments na kailangang gawin (How can the couple kiss each other? How will they make a distance? There are so many adjustments that need to be done),” he said.
Nograles said the government is “strictly” prohibiting mass gatherings during the quarantine period in Metro Manila.
He said mass gatherings include “concerts, large seminars and conventions, sporting events and social gatherings.”
Amid the implementation of community quarantine, Nograles appealed for public cooperation.
“Alam naming malaking adjustment po ito para atin dito sa Metro Manila (I know it would be a big adjustment for us who are living here in Metro Manila) but we ask everyone to cooperate because the consequences of allowing these gatherings this crucial time could be painful in the long run,” he said.