CEBU City Mayor Edgardo Labella is seeking to allow churches to hold masses with 10 percent of their seating capacity.
In a general community quarantine (GCQ) status, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases states: “Religious gatherings shall be limited to not more than 10 persons, until otherwise modified through subsequent issuances of the IATF.”
Cebu City is on GCQ status from Aug. 1 to 15.
The government imposes community quarantine to slow down the transmission of Sars-CoV-2—the new virus that first emerged in Wuhan, China that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Labella said he already sent his appeal to the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, overseer of the Cebu City Covid-19 situation.
The mayor requested that the Archdiocese of Cebu and other churches be allowed an attendance of more than 10 parishioners.
Labella allowed all the QR-coded quarantine pass holders to go out on Sunday, Aug. 9—the second and last Sunday in the 15-day GCQ status.
On the first Sunday, Aug. 2, no one was allowed to go out except the authorized persons.
On weekdays, the number coding of quarantine passes still applies where persons with pass codes ending with odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) are allowed to go out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while those with pass codes ending with even numbers (2, 4, 6, 8, 0) can go out on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
On Aug. 9, the quarantine pass holders must use the day to access essential goods and attend religious activities,
Labella sent his appeal to the RIATF and Cimatu after several Cebu City residents asked him to allow more parishioners to attend masses. The mayor had yet to receive a reply as of this writing.
“If we allow a number of people to enter the malls, then there are compelling reasons also to allow the people to go into the church as long as the minimum health protocol will be implemented,” he said.
/ PAC / KAL