THE DAGUPAN City government plans to carry on with its biggest annual celebration, the Bangus Festival, unless the national government issues a directive for a complete ban on public gatherings amid the coronavirus threat. Mayor Marc Brian C. Lim, in a speech during Monday’s flag-raising ceremony, stressed that the festival and the summer months are the “peak season” for the city’s tourism sector. “Now, what we are saying is, let us just prepare for the Bangus Festival. Let us do the preparations,” he said in mixed English and the local language. He added that a cancellation will be announced if the Department of Health (DoH) prohibits all mass gatherings. The DoH, in its February 7 advisory on the COVID-19 threat, “urges the public to avoid attending, participating in, and organizing events that draw a huge number of attendees.” It also “recommends the cancellation of such planned big events or mass gatherings until further advice.” Mr. Lim said the local government is monitoring developments while continuing with the festival preparations. The festival is set April 20 to May 1.