The Davao City Business Permit and Licensing Division chief resigned after failing to stop the New Matina Gallera Derby held last 6 to 13 March amid the Department of Health’s (DoH) call to cancel all large gatherings or other huge events due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a statement, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said that the probe on the derby was already completed and there were no violations of laws, but amid the COVID-19 health crisis, the event could have been canceled.
“Based on the documents presented and the timeline covering the community quarantine implemented because of COVID-19, there was no law violated,” Duterte said.
“It is, however, noted that on March 3 and 8, the Division Chief of the Business Permit and Licensing Division could have stopped the conduct of the derby and further prevented the situation from escalating, but did not vigorously act on it. It was a judgment call that was never made. This person already tendered resignation effective April 4, 2020,” she added.
According to various MindaNews reports, the derby was held in connection to the Araw ng Dabaw celebrations and it has offered a P26-million prize.
Duterte-Caprio earlier canceled at least 12 Araw ng Dabaw events due to the COVID-19 threat. However, it is not clear whether the derby was also ordered canceled.
Last 7 February, the DoH has issued an advisory for concerts and other public events and gatherings asking the organizers to cancel huge events and urged the public to avoid huge crowds and public gatherings.
Aside from the DoH advisory, Duterte-Carpio also issued Guidelines No. 3 on COVID-19 it was followed by an order to shut down all galleras on 12 March.
In the same statement, the Davao City mayor said that this incident is a “reminder for all officials in the City Government to always put forward the general welfare of the residents of the city.”