IATF to resolve plea for 10% capacity in church gatherings

Published March 25, 2021, 9:20 AM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said the government will resolve today, Thursday, March 25, the appeal of the Catholic Church to reconsider the total ban on religious gatherings during the two-week bubble inside Metro Manila and four neighboring provinces.

(Quiapo Church / Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Guevarra said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) will be hold a meeting to discuss “the request of the Catholic Church to be allowed a maximum of 10 percent attendance in churches during the triduum (Holy Thursday-Good Friday-Black Saturday), as well as on Easter Sunday which will coincide with the celebration of the Quincentennial of Christianity in the Philippines.”

The government has placed Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal under a general community quarantine (GCQ) bubble from March 22 to April 4 due to the rise of coronavirus disease (COVID-19 cases.

Among the measures that have been put in place is the ban on religious gatherings.

However, a number of church leaders have expressed opposition over the total ban on religious gatherings in the areas.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque had warned that the government will enforce its police power on churches that will violate the ban.

 “I fully share the sentiments of my brother bishops from the Roman Catholic Church. It is grossly unfair that without due consultation with the churches, religious gatherings during this holy season for Christians are prohibited,” Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza, secretary general of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), said in a statement.

 “In these anxious times, more than the strict, unjust, and inconsistent imposition of orders, the spiritual succor that the churches bring are much needed by the people,” he added.