Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia has asked Health Secretary Francisco to reconsider the holding of religious gatherings to expand to an attendance of 50 percent of seating of the building’s seating capacity.
Leonardia said religious leaders are now asking to be allowed to hold masses or other similar activities provided that precautionary measures are in place against COVID-19 despite the city still being under the General Community Quarantine.
“They are willing to abide with all the other health protocols during the gatherings: mandatory wearing of face masks, marked seats in pews for attendees to comply with social distancing rule; and disinfection of the venue and seats after each mass or worship/prayer service,” the mayor said.
The mayor added that the religious sector is “aware” of the health risks in large gatherings, but there is also a need for spiritual nourishment which religious gatherings can provide. National Inter-Agency Task Force standards for GCQ state that religious gatherings limit the size of attendees to a maximum of 10 people.
Where possible, parking lots of churches can also be utilized by the faithful by staying in their vehicles cars, tricycles to hear Mass,loudspeakers can be set up. This also satisfies distancing requisite. Communion can be served by lay leaders at designated areas around church grounds with markers to maintain distancing. Just a thought.