The Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas appealed to the government to allow the holding of religious gatherings in areas under “general community quarantine.”
The group made the appeal after the government withdrew its earlier decision to allow religious gathering in areas where lockdown protocols have been relaxed.
“We demand that our right to religious worship be not curtailed when the necessary safeguards are followed,” read a statement from the group known as Laiko.
“We present this appeal to give Filipinos a sense of the new normal in their spiritual gatherings and an opportunity to uplift our spiritual well being,” added the group.
It said that giving people the opportunity to connect with God through religious encounters and spiritual events will directly translate into goodness for themselves and for others.
“These are great opportunities to inspire and challenge them to do good things and share from the treasury of their good heart,” said the group.
Laiko said it is willing to submit plans, protocols and guidelines for strict observance.
An official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has earlier called on the government to allow public celebrations of Church sacraments will.
Father Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the bishops’ public affairs committee, said church leaders are capable of implementing established guidelines provided by the government.
“We would like to emphasize that the Church has been compliant, the Church is obedient, the Church supports the different protocols that are being implemented,” he said.
Government spokesman Harry Roque said the decision not to allow religious activities to resume was made after local officials expressed opposition to the lifting of the ban.