Tumulak wants vendors banned from churches
David Tumulak

Tumulak wants vendors banned from churches

Mae Fhel K. Gom-os (The Freeman) - December 4, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — To ensure physical distancing during the Misa de Gallo, Cebu City Councilor David Tumulak wants vendors barred from selling outside the city’s churches.

He made the recommendation following the appeal of two parishes.

Tumulak is among the officials tasked by Mayor Edgardo Labella to coordinate with the churches for the city to be able to come up with guidelines for the dawn Masses.

Labella earlier allowed the Misa de Gallo, but only in churches.

Another recommendation, said Tumulak, is a one minute interval on the release of the churchgoers after the Mass.

“By batch para di magdungan og gawas,” said Tumulak.

Tumulak added there was a recommendation that dawn Masses should be held from 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.

The councilor said these are just recommendations and Labella will have the final say on the guidelines for Misa de Gallo.

“The city government should be a bridge pag-collaborate sa barangays, church, and other organizations to implement the minimum health requirements,” said Tumulak.

Labella, for his part, said he might issue an executive order regarding Misa de Gallo on Monday.

“We have to seriously take into consideration, aside from the pronouncement of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, also the request of Archbishop Jose Palma that if possible there will be two Masses, the day before, and another two masses, on the very day of the misa de gallo designated dates. All-in-all I think there will be four Masses,” said Labella.

Labella said if the city will push through with the 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. recommendation on the time of the dawn Masses, the curfew will be necessarily adjusted.

“I will have these finalized because we have to reconcile with our curfew ordinance,” he said.

Security Measures

In a separate development, Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 Director Ronnie Montejo is set to meet with the local chief executives and religious sectors in Cebu to discuss the security policies for the upcoming Misa de Gallo.

During a conference call yesterday, three days since he assumed his post as regional director, Montejo said he

wants all policies laid out and tackled for the event.

"Sa pagkakaron, makig-istorya ko sa ilaha, diri sa atong mga local chief executives, sa mga religious sectors para ma-istoryahan og maayo. Total karon petsa 16 paman, para masabotan og unsay maayo himuon para mapadayon gihapon ang minimum health standards nato sa Covid-19," he said.

He admitted though that he has not yet mastered all the policies of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF).

While anticipating that a huge crowd will gather to attend the said activity, Montejo said they will strictly implement the health protocols in coordination with the respective local government units (LGUs).

"I-enforce gyud nato ang strict implementation sa health protocols kay nahibaw naman ta nga ang traditional nga Misa de Gallo, dikit-dikit man gyud. Karon nga panahon diin naa man ta sa pandemic, atong i-strictly enforce, i-observe in coordination with the respective LGU ug sa uban motabang nato," he said.

However, Montejo assured that everything is all set for the police force when it comes to security preparations and deployment in every provincial and city police offices in the region.

For his part, Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Aladdin Collado said they will wait for the directive of the IATF concerning the matter.

"We will preserve the efficient order situation in the area. Right now, we're just waiting for the new, if there will be a resolution or directive coming from the IATF, then we will execute that accordingly," he said.

Collado has reminded the public, that while enjoying the spirit of Christmas, they have to be mindful for the health issues since the fight against COVID-19 is not yet over.

He emphasized the need to boost the immune system and observe the minimum health standards, such as wearing of face masks and observing social distancing.

Collado said the primary work of the police is to maintain peace and order and to make sure that the celebration of Christmas will be felt by the people through their presence in the area.

Meanwhile, Police Lieutenant Colonel Clark Arriola, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) information officer earlier said that they have already identified at least 35 churches in the city where they will deploy police personnel to help implement the health protocols as well as for security measures.

He said they initially allotted around 156 police personnel to be deployed for the nine-day dawn Masses.

However, Arriola said they still have to assess their capability to deploy police personnel 24/7 starting December to December 24 considering that they have also other deployments. — Mary Ruth R. Malinao, KQD (FREEMAN)

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