Miss Universe Philippines 2021 convoy barred entry
NOT ONCE BUT TWICE
THE Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO) confirmed reports that the planned pre-pageant activities for the Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) 2021 set to be held in Pangasinan had to be cancelled because of the pageant organizers failure to comply with the established protocol for visitors entering the province.
PTCAO chief Malu Elduayan said the caravan initially tried to enter the province through the Urdaneta City border control checkpoint on Sunday, September 12 but failed to show travel coordination permits and other documents.
Pre-pageant activities were supposedly scheduled to be held in Pangasinan from September 13 to 16, and the candidates and their companions were to be billeted at the Monarch Hotel in Calasiao town.
Following the initial denial, Elduayan said she received a letter from the pageant organizers, stating their plan to conduct their pre-pageant activities in the province.
A technical working group of the provincial IATF discussed the issues with the pageant organizers, particularly on the need to implement the executive order issued by Governor Amado I. Espino III. Without the requirements, the visitors had to be denied entry.
It will be recalled that on September 7, Espino issued Executive Order No. 0102-2021, that reiterates the guidelines on implementing General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions in the province for September 8 to 30, 2021. Section 8.B. says “non-APORs and tourists from areas under ECQ and MECQ shall not be allowed entry into Pangasinan”.
In a separate interview, Dr. Anna de Guzman, provincial health officer, said the EO applies to everyone, not only civilians and tourists, but even to pageant candidates and organizers.
De Guzman said the provincial IATF deems pre-pageant activities as non-essential activities and, therefore, classified as mass gatherings.
She added that one of the concerns was the location of the hotel accommodating the candidates – it is located in a town where a high number of COVID-19 cases are recorded. (Ahikam Pasion)
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