With the first week of the campaign period for national candidates officially under way, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has once again underscored that candidates from all political parties and affiliations are welcome to hold activities in the city.

“It is part of my duty and mandate as their Mayor to allow QCitizens to make an informed and impartial choice for their leaders,” Belmonte noted. “We know that Quezon City is a preferred venue for national candidates to hold rallies, as we have many ideal locations to hold these events. In this regard, we are an open city, so that our constituents can learn as much as they can about the candidates who visit us,” she emphasized.

Belmonte herself is not affiliated with any national political party, having filed her candidacy under the local Serbisyo sa Bayan Party. Likewise, the mayor has not publicly endorsed any presidential candidate, although she has received nearly all of them warmly during courtesy calls. “Each of the presidentiables brings something unique and admirable to the position they are seeking. As a locally elected official, I am always privileged to welcome them to the city, and give them an equal chance to engage our approximately 1.4 million voters,” she pointed out.

On Sunday, February 13, thousands of supporters gathered for what was termed as the “Pink Sunday” rally of Vice President Leni Robredo, which caused crowds to overspill into large areas surrounding the Quezon Memorial Circle.

Last December 8, the supporters of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio held a massive five-hour motorcade which began along Commonwealth Avenue in front of the Commission on Audit, and ended at Welcome Rotonda at the boundary of Quezon City and Manila.

Presidential candidates Isko Moreno, Manny Pacquiao, Ping Lacson, and their respective running mates have likewise held campaign activities in Quezon City, which were all preceded by courtesy visits by the candidates to Belmonte.

“Being an open city, we would just like to remind all rally organizers to coordinate in advance with our LGU, so that we may provide them with the best assistance and manpower for their events,” Belmonte advised. “Let us also remember that, although NCR is currently under the more moderate Alert Level 2, our country is still in the midst of a pandemic. Safety still has to be the top priority,” she concluded.