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Philippines Bans Kissing, Hugging, Holding Hands In Public To Curb Covid-19 Spread

Mark Andrew

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  • Philippine National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana recently said that public displays of affection are prohibited in the country to prevent virus spread.
  • Cops have been instructed to call out couples, or even friends and family members, who will be spotted violating the rule.
  • Senator Ralph Recto, however, questioned ban, saying it seems to be a “war” against love – not against Covid.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has declared that couples are now prohibited from showing public displays of affection. The reason? Apparently, they’re implementing the rule to help decrease the spread of Covid-19 cases in the country.

According to PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana, cops have been instructed to call out couples who will be spotted kissing, hugging, or even holding hands in public.

Violators will be called out by the police, said Brig. Gen. Usana.

In an interview, Usana explained that the ban is important, especially now that the country has lifted certain restrictions.

 “We all know that the economy has reopened and many people go outside for leisure. Many people really miss each other’s company,” he said.

Usana reminded that physical intimacy in public is a violation of health and safety protocols. “If we see them embrace, stay shoulder-to-shoulder and very close to each other, it’s an automatic violation,” he told the media.

A war against love?

Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto expressed his opposition on the prohibition, pointing out that Usana’s statement “seems to be a police declaration of war on love, and not on COVID.”

“If all acts of public display of affection are prohibited – harmless kisses, holding hands, hugs – then the rules border on the absurd,” Recto said.

The senator also asked:

“Take note, the PNP spokesman’s statement frowns upon public display of lovey-dovey ‘for health reasons.’ So a couple who shares a bed at night cannot kiss each other goodbye on the street when they go their separate ways to work and should just text each other kiss emojis?”

“Words can move—and frighten—a nation. When you wield a loud microphone, don’t treat it like a police whistle you can blow anytime,” remarked Recto.

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