The restrictions on religious gatherings amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic would be tackled in the next meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), Malacañang said on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque vowed to raise the Catholic Church’s concerns over the limited participation of individuals in religious gatherings.
He gave this assurance as the IATF-EID is set to hold a meeting on Friday.
“Ako na mismo ang magri-raise nito (I will be the one to raise the issue),” Roque, also acting as spokesperson of IATF-EID, said in a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4, when sought for update on the discussions about the restricted religious gatherings.
The IATF-EID earlier allowed the conduct of religious activities in areas placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ).
Religious gatherings in areas under MECQ would be highly restricted and limited to not more than five persons.
In areas placed under GCQ, the maximum number of participants of religious activities is 10.
People engaged in religious gatherings are required to observe minimum health standards.
On Sunday, Manila Archdiocese apostolic administrator, Bishop Broderick Pabillo called as “laughable” and “unreasonable” the new directive limiting the participants of religious gatherings.
Pabillo also claimed that the restrictions were made without consultations from church leaders.
Malacañang on Monday urged the Catholic Church to coordinate with IATF-EID and pitch proposals on how physical distancing and other health protocols can be implemented during religious gatherings.
Religious activities are still prohibited in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue, which remain under enhanced community quarantine until May 31. (Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos/PNA)