Manila churches now allowed at 30% seating capacity

October 20, 2020 - 3:33 PM
A woman wearing a protective mask kneels to pray in between social distancing markers placed on pews in St Peter Parish in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, on 7th June (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

Manila City is once again easing restrictions on religious gatherings, allowing 30 percent seating capacity in all places of worship.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno issued an executive order Monday authorizing the increase of seating capacity of religious gatherings from 10 percent to 30 percent.

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

Under the executive order, only citizens aged 18 years old to 65 years old are allowed to attend religious gatherings.

The mayor also urged church leaders to ensure that the minimum health protocols set by the government are “strictly observed”.

In a radio interview, Bishop Broderick Pabillo of the Manila archdiocese welcomed the city government’s order to accommodate more churchgoers.

“We call on those who can attend Mass, they can now go inside churches,” Pabillo told DzMM.

Manila’s parishes will also increase the number of Masses each day to allow more people to attend church services.

He said priests will also hold Mass in school gymnasiums to avoid crowding and maintain physical distancing during Undas and Simbang Gabi.