Pray to God with no Mass—Palace
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement, as he apologized over the government’s move to keep its decision to still prohibit mass gatherings for religious purposes as a precaution against the further spread of COVID-19 in the country. “Although it is for religious purposes, the reality is it is still a public gathering that we’re not prepared for at this point. So we ask for everyone’s patience,” Roque said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel. “So I think just patience and after all, our relationship with the Creator is personal so we can continue with that personal relationship.” Members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), during their meeting on Monday, have agreed to keep its restrictions on religious activities due to the risk of having more people getting infected with COVID-19. Roque said the IATF-EID believes it is not the proper time to allow religious gatherings in the country. He said the government may only permit the conduct of religious activities, in the event that it is able to bring down the doubling rate of Covid-19 infections. Unfortunately, health considerations take precedence. And it was finally agreed that it’s not yet time even that we’re still only on GCQ unless we have actually tamed the doubling rate of the disease which will not take the risk of allowing public gatherings,” Roque said. In May, the IATF-EID issued guidelines on religious activities that will be held in areas placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ). The maximum number of people who can attend religious gatherings in places under MECQ and GCQ must be five and 10, respectively, based on the IATF-EID guidelines.