^
30% capacity for churches in GCQ areas sought
This was the assurance given yesterday by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, a member of the IATF, saying the prevailing limitation on the faithful to physically attend church services was “plain oversight” and must be rectified.
Edd Gumban, file

30% capacity for churches in GCQ areas sought

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - May 19, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — High-level recommendations will be made for the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to increase to 30 percent capacity the number of people allowed at church gatherings in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

This was the assurance given yesterday by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, a member of the IATF, saying the prevailing limitation on the faithful to physically attend church services was “plain oversight” and must be rectified.

Since the implementation of the GCQ with “heightened restrictions” on May 15, commercial establishments in the National Capital Region and its adjoining provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal (NCR Plus) were allowed to increase capacity for customers.

However, churches were not allowed to increase capacity for religious gatherings.

“It was just a case of plain oversight, I believe. Under the previous MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine), religious gatherings were allowed up to a maximum of 10 percent of seating capacity in the NCR Plus, and this could go up to 30 percent if the concerned local government units (LGUs) posed no objection,” Guevarra said.

“In the latest resolution de-escalating the NCR Plus to GCQ, the maximum capacity for religious gatherings was still pegged at 10 percent but the flexible clause was omitted, thus making religious gatherings ‘worse off’ than previously,” he said.

The justice secretary admitted that even the Metro Manila mayors and some church groups noticed the error.

“So the technical working group of the IATF will review the resolution and submit its recommendation to the IATF at its next meeting. I believe that this oversight will promptly be rectified,” he added.

Once the correction has been made, the seating capacity in religious gatherings could go up to 30 percent.

Last Sunday, May 17, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said their diocese might appeal to their LGUs in Caloocan, Malabon and Navotas to grant them a 30 percent seating capacity for religious gatherings.

CHURCH GCQ
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with