Filipinos cancel plans to hold Independence Day celebration at Orchard Road

Organisers of a planned Philippine Independence Day celebration here have withdrawn their application to hold it at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza.

The event was to have taken place at the Orchard Road site on June 8.

The police told The Straits Times that the withdrawal follows public order and safety concerns about the venue proposed by its organisers – the Pilipino Independence Day Council Singapore (PIDCS).

Said a police spokesman: “Police had also advised the organisers to consider alternative locations used previously for the event, such as Hong Lim Park in 2013 and Suntec City in 2012.”

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 said they did not want it held there.

They also objected that the council had used the Marina Bay skyline in a logo for the event – which is meant to mark the Philippines’ independence from Spain in 1898.

The furore resulted in PIDCS removing the Facebook post.

But the vitriol was condemned by other Singaporeans and politicians as xenophobic, with many showing their support for the celebration.

Despite the controversy, organisers said earlier that if they got approval from the authorities, they would go ahead with the event – which has been an annual affair since the mid-80s.

But it is now not known where it will take place this year, or even if it will go ahead.

Calls to PIDCS co-chairman Rychie Andres went unanswered yesterday evening.

Under the Public Order Act, any public assembly or public procession requires a permit.

This is regardless of the number of participants.

Every application is assessed on its own merits, factoring in potential public order and safety risks, said the police.

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