By way of Resolution No. 116, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has given Metro Manila local government units (LGUs) particularly their mayors, the discretion of allowing up to a 30% capacity cap on church gatherings.
The ability to increase the venue capacity limit for church activities is an additional guideline under the more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) classification that was enacted on the National Capital Region (NCR) and neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, labeled as the NCR Plus bubble, earlier this month.
Initially, religious gatherings were only given a 10% venue capacity limit.
Furthermore, the resolution reminds devotees to maintain minimum public health standards and observe established protocols.
In light of this decision, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) rejoiced at the IATF’s revision, as more churchgoers may now participate in church gatherings.
“It’s good that more people are now given the opportunity to attend church services. Spiritual matters are also very important in this time of pandemic,” CBCP spokesperson Fr. Jerome Secillano stated.
Meanwhile, necrological services and funerals for non-Covid19 related deaths remain permitted but limited to immediate family members only, all while observing proper public health safety practices.
In related news, Manila will be welcoming a new archbishop next month, as Cardinal Jose Advincula of Capiz, Roxas City, will be officially installed on the 24th as head of the city’s Archdiocese.
Advincula will be taking over from former Manila archbishop and now cardinal-bishop, Luis Antonio Tagle.