30% church capacity in Manila okayed

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    THE city government of Manila yesterday agreed to allow more people to go to churches, mosques, chapels and other religious facilities from the present 10 percent capacity to 30 percent as the city gradually eases restrictions put in place to control the spread of the new coronavirus.

    “Today I have signed an executive order allowing 30 percent load capacity (in) churches and religious places,” Manila Mayor Isko Moreno announced, adding that Executive Order No.41 will promote not only the social and economic well-being of Manileños but also their spiritual well-being.

    “There is a need for the city to address the spiritual needs of its constituents,” Moreno said.

    The city executive urged religious leaders and personnel to ensure that minimum health and safety protocols are strictly observed during religious gatherings.

    “This is with the premise that they will still continue the health protocols such as wearing of face masks, face shields and observance of physical distancing,” Moreno said.

    Moreno said only those who are 18 years old to 65 years old are allowed to attend religious gatherings. “Minors are still not allowed to attend these gatherings,” he said.

    Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo declared readiness to welcome more faithful inside churches.

    In a radio interview, Pabillo said they are inviting churchgoers to visit their churches already as more people can now be accommodated inside. “We are inviting everyone, you can already go inside the churches to worship,” he said.

    He said they expect those that have been attending masses outside churches to be among those that will take advantage of the increase in church capacity.

    “Many have been attending masses outside the churches. They can now go inside,” said the prelate. – With Gerard Naval