Filipino group cancels plans to hold Independence Day celebration

Organisers of a planned Philippine Independence Day celebration in Singapore have decided to cancel the event altogether, owing to difficulties in getting alternative locations for the event. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK 
Organisers of a planned Philippine Independence Day celebration in Singapore have decided to cancel the event altogether, owing to difficulties in getting alternative locations for the event. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK 

SINGAPORE - Organisers of a planned Philippine Independence Day celebration in Singapore have decided to cancel the event altogether, owing to difficulties in getting alternative locations for the event.

The event was to have taken place on June 8 at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza, in Singapore's shopping district, but some Singaporeans opposed the choice of venue. The Pilipino Independence Day Council Singapore, which is behind the event, later withdrew their application to hold it at the Orchard Road site, due to "public order and safety issues", as advised by the Singapore Police Force (SPF).

"The Pilipino Independence Day Council 2014 (PIDC 2014), in consultation with Singapore authorities, considered other venues, however, these did not pan out for various reasons," the organising committee said in a statement.

These included unavailability of alternative venues on June 8, accessibility to public transport, as well as capacity constraint, the statement added.

"In view of all considerations in the search for equivalent suitable venues, the PIDC 2014 deemed it is best to cancel the event and have withdrawn the permit application to SPF to hold the event at Ngee Ann City," it added.

In April, a Facebook post by the council about its intention to host the annual event at Orchard Road was lambasted by some netizens, who did not want it held there. They also objected to the council's use of the Marina Bay skyline in a logo for the event, meant to mark the Philippines' independence from Spain in 1898.

The furore resulted in the council removing the Facebook post.

Still, the council added that it had successfully conducted other activities of the Independence Day celebration, such as a blood donation drive and a visit to an elderly home, and thanked supporters for their contributions.

It said: "The present format of the celebration included the pre-events in line with this year's theme of inclusiveness and reaching out to the local community as our way of expressing friendship and partnership between the Philippines and Singapore."

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