Christmas parties in all military offices nationwide this year will be put off amid the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced Wednesday.

AFP123 1 - AFP bans Christmas parties; funds to go to COVID-19 response
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)

General Gilbert Gapay, AFP Chief of Staff, ordered the issuance of a directive regarding the new policy addressing all unit commanders and chiefs of offices.

“All units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines will not be holding Christmas parties this year. The amount that would have been spent for the said Yuletide revelries will be merged with the mass of funds to address COVID-19 requirements of their personnel,” Gapay said.

He noted that the policy will serve as an austerity measure for the military, and a gesture of sensitivity to the public.

Thousands of families are bearing the brunt of the pandemic due to job loss, deaths, and other related problems.

“Fellow Filipinos here and abroad have been suffering and this is the least we can do to commiserate with the people we have sworn to secure and serve especially in this time of crisis,” he stated. 

“This ban on all Christmas festivities also conforms with the health protocols that proscribes mass gatherings which the AFP strictly enforces and observes,” he added.

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