Manila PIO hit for promoting 3-day mall sale amid COVID-19 cases surge

March 26, 2021 - 5:37 PM
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Mall shoppers
Illustration of mall shoppers. (Image by Ray Shrewsberry from Pixabay)

Some online Filipinos called out the public information office of Manila for promoting a mall sale at a time when COVID-19 cases are surging.

The Manila PIO on Thursday announced that a three-day sale will be held at a shopping mall in Santa Cruz, Manila from March 26 to 28, 2021.

It added that the mall management is reminding the public to wear their face masks and face shields to be able to “enjoy to up to 70% off” the purchases.

“This information is published in line with the Manila City government’s close working relations with local businesses based in the nation’s capital,” Manila PIO said.

On the shopping mall’s Facebook page, it said that it is holding an “all-out sale” but reminded the public to practice COVID-19 safety protocols by wearing their face masks and face shields.

It also recommended them to plan their shopping in advance by creating a shopping list so that they could limit their time wandering and be at potential risk of exposure.

Shoppers also have the option to have their items be delivered to them or be picked up at the store to reduce contact through its “#SMCallToDeliver” initiative wherein they can just drop a message through Facebook Messenger or Viber.

The mall management likewise reminds the public to strictly observe their safety guidelines which include mandatory temperature check and hand sanitation, apart from the government’s minimum health protocols.

Some social media users who saw Manila PIO’s post aired their concern over the public’s safety as the country continues to see increase in COVID-19 cases and amid renewed stricter restrictions.

Under the stricter general community quarantine guidelines, only people ages 18 to 65 years old in the Greater Manila Area can go on non-essential travel and only within the so-called GCQ bubble.

“Anong nangyari sa stay at home?????” a Facebook user asked in the comments section of Manila PIO’s post.

“Tapos ‘pag dinagsa dahil sa announcement, magagalit sa mga tao kasi ‘pasaway’?” another online user wrote.

“Funny how the local government promotes 3-day sale schemes and still encourages people to stay at home. Good job guys, we’re doing great!” a different Facebook user said with sarcasm.

“We lock down brgys. in Manila, been encouraging people to stay home, closed churches BUT promoting a mall-wide SALE?” a Filipino in Twitter commented.

READ: IATF: Religious gatherings at 10% capacity allowed from April 1 to 4

A day before the city’s PIO promoted the mall sale, its mayor authorized barangay chairmen to declare localized lockdowns as part of containment strategies to mitigate COVID-19 transmission.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno through an executive order said that barangays having ten or more active cases can be placed under lockdown or an enhanced community quarantine. Residents should be given a two-day prior notice.

With the exemption of authorized persons outside their residences (APOR), Moreno said that all residents under the barangays to be placed under lockdown shall be strictly confined in their residences and are prohibited from going outside their homes.

Manila PIO said that there are 29 barangays, one street and one cluster that have been placed in a four-day lockdown this week.

As of Friday afternoon, the nation’s capital has recorded a total of 37,051 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 3,548 of these are active cases.

Fatalities stand at 884 while those who have recovered are 32,619.