Catholic churches in Manila are ready to accept more churchgoers as the city government approved an increase in the number of people that would be allowed to attend religious gatherings.
“It means that we are inviting the public that additional people are allowed to attend Mass, many are now allowed to go to church,” Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo said in a radio interview on Monday.
Pabillo confirmed that he received a message from Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and from Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra regarding the increase in the allowed seating capacity inside churches to 30 percent.
“Starting this afternoon, they will allow the 30 percent (increase in seating capacity),” Pabillo added.
On the other hand, Fr. Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, otherwise known as Quiapo Church, said they are ready to accept more devotees.
He also thanked the city government and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) for allowing more people to pray inside churches.
“On the part of the Church, we are happy with this good news, we have appealed for this for many weeks for additional capacity. We would like to thank Mayor Isko and the IATF for granting our request,” Badong said in an interview.
Badong assured that physical distancing and other health protocols will be strictly implemented.
“We can manage it. Even in other churches, they can implement safety protocols with 30 percent capacity. Here in Quiapo Church, we practice three people in one chair, there is a required space. The number of people outside will be lessened, those who are under the heat of the sun or those who are being drenched by the rain,” he said.
Moreno is set to sign an order that will allow the 30 percent capacity of people inside churches in the city, from the current 10 percent. (pna.gov.ph)