MANILA – Amid the continued implementation of nationwide community quarantine, Malacañang on Thursday asked the Catholic Church to remain patient and just continue doing “online” mass to keep the public safe from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
In a virtual presser, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque advised the church to follow the latest and temporary guidelines on the conduct of religious gatherings in the country.
“Pupwede naman po na mag-online tayo sa ngayon at obserbahan muna natin ‘yung 10 persons dahil ito naman po ay temporary lamang (We can do online mass for now and observe the 10-person capacity for religious services because it’s just temporary),” Roque said.
In July, the national government has allowed the resumption of religious activities in areas placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) but only at 10 percent of seating capacity.
However, the request to impose a “stricter” GCQ until August 31 was approved on Tuesday, allowing the government to modify its omnibus guidelines on the implementation of community quarantine in the country.
Under the “stricter” GCQ, only 10 persons are allowed to join mass gatherings, including religious activities.
Manila Archdiocese apostolic administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo on Thursday called as “illogical” the government’s latest move to limit the number of people who can participate in religious services.
Roque, however, said the fresh directive on the conduct of religious gatherings was merely temporary.
“Para lang maiwasan ang pagkalat ng Covid, eh sana po pasensiya lang muna. Hindi naman po ito forever (To avoid the further spread of Covid-19, we need to be patient. It will not be implemented forever),” he said.
Roque added that the national government had to impose limitations on religious activities to prevent further transmission of Covid-19 infections.
“Katunayan lang po na talagang maraming kaso ng mga Covid na bigla na lang nagkahawahan dahil po dito sa mga religious worship (There are new Covid-19 cases because of the resumption of religious worships),” he said.
GCQ is imposed in Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Nueva Ecija, and Batangas until August 31.
The cities of Iloilo, Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, and Talisay, as well as the municipalities of Minglanilla and Consolacion in Cebu province, are also under GCQ.
Modified GCQ is implemented in the rest of the country. Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos / PNA – northboundasia.com