MANILA - The Philippine government is thumbing down appeals to expand the allowed capacity of the Quiapo Church in Manila to 50 percent to accommodate devotees in time of Feast of the Black Nazarene.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque said the same restrictions will still be followed even with the celebration of the annual Feast.
“Hanggang 30 percent lang po ang ating pu-puwedeng religious services, so hindi po iyan nababago pa. Hanggang mabago po iyan, eh, kinakailangan sundin po natin iyang 30 percent capacity,” he said.
For the first time in many decades, the traditional Traslacion or procession of the image of the Black Nazarene, which is usually attended by millions of devotees, will not push through as the government banned mass gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Instead, more than a dozen masses will be held in Quiapo Church on January 9, an official of the church said Sunday.
Fifteen masses will be held in the home of the Black Nazarene to prevent crowds as many are expected to gather in Quiapo Church, said Rev. Msgr. Hernando Coronel, rector of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene.