THE Diocese of Bacolod will implement several adjustments for the dawn masses or "Simbang Gabi," which is set to begin on December 16, it said in a statement.

Reverend Fr. Henry Donasco, director of the Commission on Liturgy of Diocese of Bacolod, said even before the pandemic, the "Simbang Gabi" is normally scheduled from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Bishop Patricio Buzon, however, has allowed two mass schedules, 3:30 a.m. and 5 a.m., he said.

Other churches in the city are given the option to have only one early morning mass schedule, although they can start their "Simbang Gabi" by the evening of December 15 until December 23 every 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

There will be no evening masses at the San Sebastian Cathedral as it will observe two early morning masses.

Donasco also said that they are coordinating with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo), and Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) for the deployment of their personnel for crowd control.

Physical distancing must still be observed, he said.

Donasco also made an appeal to parents not to bring their babies or toddlers to church if possible, pointing out that even though both Negros Occidental and Bacolod City are now under Alert level 2, they still have to make sure that basic health protocols are obsereved.

"Simbang Gabi" or Misa de Gallo is a long standing Christmas tradition in the Philippines observed for nine-days and culminates on Christmas Eve, December 24.