Churches now allowed to hold Sunday masses in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 06 August) – Churches in Davao City may now hold masses on Sundays, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

During her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Duterte said the local government has lifted the ban on all religious activities on Sundays as it further eased restrictions under an extended modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

A church in Davao City announces the temporary suspension of masses. The suspension started on Sunday, 15 March 2020. Davao City under its community quarantine guidelines has discouraged the holding of religious activities where people can converge, to prevent COVID-19 infection. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

This will be the first time for churches to resume Sunday religious activities since March, when a lockdown was imposed and mass gatherings were prohibited to stem the spread of Covid-19.

But Section 19 of Executive Order 47 issued last Tuesday provides that attendance in all religious activities must not exceed 50 percent of the seating capacity of the place of worship.

It requires church-goers to wear masks and place themselves at least one meter apart from each other.

The local government previously allowed religious activities to be only held from Monday to Saturday, and prohibited the movement of people on Sundays when the city shifted to from general community quarantine to less restrictive MGCQ last July 1.

The entire city was placed under enhanced community quarantine from April 4 to May 15, general community quarantine from May 16 until June 30, and modified GCQ last July 1, which has been extended until August 15.

Duterte added that she had already informed leaders of Iglesia ni Cristo and Catholic churches in the city to strictly observe the basic health protocols during religious activities.

She appealed to residents to stay at home, wear face mask, observe a one-meter distance from each other, and frequently wash hands with soap and water. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)

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