visayas.politics.com.ph

Leonardia wants IATF to allow churches to reopen at 50 percent capacity

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Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia asked the national government to allow churches to hold religious services at 50 percent occupancy or capacity.

In a letter to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases, Leonardia sought reconsideration on the rule limiting the number of attendees to religious gatherings to a maximum of 10 persons for areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Bacolod City is under GCQ after being categorized by the IATF as a low-risk area to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). (https://bit.ly/3e9NI2I)

Leonardia said that church leaders in Bacolod were asking that they be allowed to hold worship and prayer services with attendance at 50 percent of the seating capacity, including the celebrant or pastor and their assistants.

Church leaders are willing to abide by all the other health protocols during the gatherings such as the mandatory wearing of face masks, marked seats in the pews for physical distancing, and disinfection of the venue and seats after each mass or worship/prayer service, the city mayor also said.

“The church leaders are all aware of the health risks in such large gatherings but the need for spiritual nourishment and a connection to the Almighty, at a time of crisis like this, is also deep and overwhelming,” he added.

“In fact, we believe, allowing the faithful access to their religious rites, services, and sacraments, but with careful precautions, can only strengthen our mental and spiritual health that we also need to fight off Covid-19.”