Gov’t allows 50% church capacity in MGCQ areas

Gov’t allows 50% church capacity in MGCQ areas

Msgr. Bernard Pantin, assistant secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, celebrates Mass at the CBCP chapel in Intramuros, Manila on June 1, the start of general community quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila. CBCPNEWS

By CBCP News

June 4, 2020

Manila, Philippines

The government has eased its restrictions in places of worship under modified general community quarantine.

Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Gueverra affirmed his earlier statement that churches in MGCQ areas can hold services at 50 percent capacity.

He said that the rule was adopted on June 3 by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in its amended omnibus guidelines.

“Religious services in MGCQ areas are allowed up to a maximum of 50% of the total seating capacity or venue,” Gueverra said.

He also stressed that the decision is “subject to the government’s minimum health standards and any additional protocols imposed by your respective congregations.”

The DOJ chief made the statement in a message to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on Wednesday evening, through Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig.

Bishop Vergara represented the CBCP during the recent meetings between the government’s policy-making body in its Covid-19 response and the religious sector.

Some bishops have earlier raised concerns over the limited participation of individuals in religious gatherings.

But the IATF kept the 10-people limit on religious gatherings in GCQ areas like Metro Manila due to large number of coronavirus cases.

Other regions under GCQ include Pangasinan, Davao City, Zamboanga City and several cities and provinces in Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Central Visayas.

Meanwhile, a more relaxed modified GCQ is in place in the rest of the country.