HomeNewsRestrictions on religious gatherings in Philippine capital eased

Restrictions on religious gatherings in Philippine capital eased

Philippine authorities have relaxed restrictions on religious gatherings in the national capital Manila, allowing attendance to up to 10 percent of the seating capacity of places of worship.

The government has earlier limited to only 10 persons the number of people allowed to attend religious gatherings in places under general community quarantine.

“The bishops will be happy,” said government spokesman Harry Roque in a media briefing on Tuesday, September 1.

“Ten percent seating capacity is now allowed,” said Roque, official spokesman of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“I repeat, in the [National Capital Region], religious gatherings up to 10 percent capacity are allowed. It is no longer just 10 persons,” he said.

The new rule on religious gatherings has been approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Catholic church leaders welcomed the announcement.

- Newsletter -

“We are happy for it and we will comply with the necessary protocols,” said Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila.

“It is a welcome blessing,” said Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao. He said parishioners have been asking about the number of people who can attend Masses.

“We see our services as essential because our people need some support system when we talk of stress, psychological needs or support,” said the prelate.

Authorities also announced a shortened curfew period and mandatory use of mask and face shield in public transportation, work places, and commercial establishments.

In July, the government allowed religious gatherings at 10 percent of the venue’s capacity in areas under general community quarantine.

A month later, a 10-person limit was imposed in mass gatherings as part of the stricter quarantinne implemented by the government.

Bishop Pabillo earlier appealed for the easing of the restrictions on religious gatherings, saying the limited capacity was “illogical” while restaurants and other business establishments were being allowed to accommodate a higher number of people.

The national capital remains under general community quarantine until the end of September. Other places under general quarantine are the provinces of Bulacan and Batangas and the cities of Tacloban and Bacolod.

As of Tuesday, September 1, the Philippines’ Covid-19 cases further climbed to 224,264, with 3,483 more people confirmed to have fallen ill with the disease.

The Department of Health said that of the national case count, about 28 percent, or 62,655, are active cases or currently ill patients.

Metro Manila registered 1,824 or 52 percent of the new patients, while Laguna had 223, Cavite had 184, Rizal had 161, and Batangas had 126.

The Health department also added 464 to the recovery count, which rose to 158,012. Meanwhile, 39 more fatalities were tallied, bringing the total to 3,597.

Among the newly announced deaths, 34 happened in August, while the other five in May to July.

© Copyright LiCAS.news. All rights reserved. Republication of this article without express permission from LiCAS.news is strictly prohibited. For republication rights, please contact us at: [email protected]

Support LiCAS.news

We work tirelessly each day to tell the stories of those living on the fringe of society in Asia and how the Church in all its forms - be it lay, religious or priests - carries out its mission to support those in need, the neglected and the voiceless.
We need your help to continue our work each day. Make a difference and donate today.