Markers separating church goers are in place on May 31, 2020 at St. Peter Parish Shrine in Commonwealth, Quezon City.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
COVID-19 task force relaxes religious gathering restrictions in GCQ areas
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - July 3, 2020 - 12:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — More people are now allowed to participate in religious gatherings in areas under general community quarantine, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the government’s inter-agency task force on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response approved Resolution No. 51, allowing 10% seating capacity in religious gatherings in GCQ areas.

“Para sa gustong magsimba, pinayagan na rin po ang religious gatherings pero hanggang 10% lang at ito ay epektibo sa July 10, 2020 sa areas ng GCQ,” Roque said.

(For those who would like to go to churches, religious gatherings up to 10% of the venue’s capacity will be allowed starting July 10, 2020 in GCQ areas.)

Previously, religious events in areas under GCQ were limited to 10 people only—a move that has drawn flak from religious leaders. 

Metro Manila—the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak—will remain under GCQ until July 15.

Other areas under GCQ until mid-July are the following:

  • Benguet
  • Cavite
  • Rizal
  • Lapu Lapu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Leyte
  • Ormoc
  • Southern Leyte
  • Talisay City (Cebu province)
  • Minglanilla (Cebu province)
  • Consolacion (Cebu province)

Roque reminded those who will attend religious gatherings to strictly observe social distancing measures, wear face masks and practice hand hygiene.

Meanwhile, religious gatherings in areas under modified GCQ are allowed as long as they are only half-filled.

The COVID-19 pandemic has so far infected 38,805 people in the Philippines, including 1,274 deaths.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: August 2, 2020 - 9:24am

Other regions and provinces in the Philippines considered moderate and low-risk areas will be placed under general community quarantine starting May 1. Bookmark this page for updates. (Main image by The STAR/Edd Gumban)

August 2, 2020 - 9:24am

Motorcycle riders on Sunday hold a protest at the Commission on Human Rights grounds on Sunday against motorcycle barriers that they as well as engineers have said are unsafe.

ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo reports that the group, Kagulong, says the barriers are also expensive aside from being unsafe.

August 1, 2020 - 4:11pm

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says that President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the IATF-EID to act on the concerns of the healthcare workers immediately.

"The Palace considers our skilled, tireless and dedicated healthcare workers as important frontliners in the battle against COVID-19." says Roque. — The STAR/Christina Mendez

August 1, 2020 - 2:27pm

The Department of Health says they support the call of medical frontliners "to ensure appropriate implementation of community quarantines to ensure the protection of our health workers." 

"But while the government is taking the necessary actions to address the situation, we emphasize that it is also the duty of every citizen to ensure that our health system is not overwhelmed. With this, we continue to call on everyone to BIDA Solusyon," the department says.

"We welcome this opportunity to continuously work with the medical societies and our healthcare workers on a united and strategic course of action to win the battle versus this pandemic," it adds.

July 31, 2020 - 10:22am

Filipinos appear to have different opinions on going to work and attending religious services in case the community quarantine ends next month according to a Social Weather Stations survey.

The poll released Friday found that 55% feel comfortable and 40% feel uncomfortable about going to work after lockdown.

The same survey showed that 45% of Filipino adults feel comfortable while 54% feel uncomfortable about going to church or mosque if the community quarantine is lifted.

July 31, 2020 - 9:38am

Metro Manila will remain under general community quarantine starting August 1, President Rodrigo Duterte announces.

Other areas to remain under GCQ are Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City and Zamboanga City.

The rest of the Philippines will be under modified general community quarantine.

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