The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will not raise the number of churchgoers in areas under general community quarantine, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Saturday.
“For now, the IATF sticks to the existing rules on mass gatherings, including public religious worship in GCQ areas, until the latter get reclassified to MGCQ (modified GCQ),” said Guevarra, a member of the IATF, in response to appeals made by the Quiapo Church in Manila to raise the capacity allowed for religious gatherings.
“It’s spacious inside the church. We’re pleading with the IATF to, perhaps, increase the allowed capacity to decongest the crowd outside,” appealed Quiapo Church parochial vicar Fr. Douglas Badong after a large crowd appeared at the Quiapo Church last Friday for the First Friday Mass despite the continued threat of COVID-19.
Under the current guidelines of the IATF, churches under GCQ are only allowed to accept people up to 10 percent of its capacity.