5th day of Misa de Gallo âPeaceful, orderlyâ
Misa de Gallo at the Redemptorist Chuch in Cebu City.
Aldo Banaynal

5th day of Misa de Gallo ‘Peaceful, orderly’

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - December 21, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The fifth day of the nine-day Misa de Gallo in Cebu City was peaceful and orderly, a city official said.

This was contrary to the first three days of the dawn Masses where a huge crowd filled churches, especially the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño.

City Councilor and Emergency Operations Center deputy chief Joel Garganera said churchgoers have become more compliant with health protocols during dawn Masses.

“Overall, the compliance of the minimum health protocol were properly observed (sic),” he said.

The EOC has been assessing the situation in the city’s 35 churches to ensure that health protocols are being strictly followed during Masses.

Garganera said the closure of roads within the church premises and not allowing cars to park in the parking space of the church during the Mass provided ample space for churchgoers.

Putting up more sound system and video screens in churches also helped by preventing churchgoers from crowding together in one area, he said.

To manage crowd in churches, the barangays, force multipliers and city volunteers also stepped up.

The Cebu City Mobile Force, for instance, augmented its personnel in big churches to help maintain orderliness.

“Overall we’re doing very okay but we have to prepare for the remaining four dawn Masses,” said Garganera after meeting with Cebu City Police Office chief Police Col. Josefino Ligan and the chiefs of the 11 police stations in the city yesterday morning.

Garganera asked the churchgoers to continue cooperating with authorities for the four remaining days of dawn Masses.

He said they cannot be complacent, especially on the eve of Christmas,

the last day of the nine-day Misa de Gallo.

“Not to be complacent. The more that we up our guards especially the last day,” he said.

He said presence of minors below 15 years old was noted.

Churchgoers aged 15 years old and below, and those 65 years old and above are not allowed to enter churches due to COVID-19 risks.

“There were still presence of minors. We will be fielding Kaohsiung buses starting tomorrow to transport these minors back to their barangays. Family bringing minors, toddlers or babies will not be allowed to enter the church premises,” said Garganera.

After having double-digit COVID-19 case counts last Saturday, Cebu City only logged two new cases based on the Department of Health-VII’s case bulletin on December 19. The city now has 87 total active cases.

In the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue, the situation during dawn Masses has also improved after imposing additional protocols.

This after the first day of the Misa de Gallo on December 16 also drew massive crowds in several churches.

“Daku na gyud ang improvement karon. Social distancing is now being observed,” said Atty. John Eddu Ibañez, the local IATF deputy manager for Mandaue City.

On the other hand, the Misa de Gallo schedule in Lapu-Lapu was revised.

Mayor Junard Chan said 3 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. Mass schedule was added to “diffuse the number of churchgoers and avoid overcrowding.”

 Also, the city government adjusted the curfew hours from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. to suit the schedules for the dawn Masses.

Churches are only allowed to accommodate 50 percent of their capacity in compliance with the quarantine rules. — Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, KQD (FREEMAN)

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