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Carolers banned in Philippines' capital

UPI News Service, 12/09/2007 

Christmas carolers will not be found in the streets of Manila in the Philippines this year with local officials banning the outdoor holiday singing.

Bayani Fernando, head of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, said the ban was put into place to stop young carolers from entering the city's streets to seek money from passing motorists, the BBC reported Sunday.

The official said poor children had begun seeking donations for their singing from Manila motorists, endangering themselves in the city's streets.

"What we are against are those who dart across thoroughfares knocking on vehicle windows to beg for alms since this is a sure-fire way to get maimed or killed," Fernando was quoted as saying recently.

The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, with more than 90 percent of the overall population embracing the religion.

The BBC said that to enforce the new holiday ban, traffic officials would be on the lookout for carolers and would hand them over to local social welfare officials.

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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