MANILA (UPDATE) - Several churches, both Catholic and Christian denominations, in Metro Manila have opened its doors to health workers and other frontline personnel in need of housing as Luzon remained on lockdown due to the threat of COVID-19.
Among these are Paco Catholic School, Malate Catholic School, Pius Catholic Center, EDSA Shrine, and the parishes of St. Don Bosco, Sacred Heart, St. Paul, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said Wednesday.
"Ang mga binubuksan na simbahan 'yun po ay para sa mga medical frontliners na kailangan may matirhan," Pabillo told radio DZMM.
"Patuloy ang mga paring nagmimisa pero wala lang public participation. Nasa online na lang. Hanggang magsabi ang gobyerno kung kailan pwede nang mag congregate ang mga tao."
Some schools also allow street dwellers to temporarily reside in their facilities, Pabillo added.
Non-Catholic denominations such as Victory Church also said it opened its building in Bonifacio Global City as a temporary housing facility for frontline personnel working in St. Luke’s Medical Center and Rizal Medical Center.
"We are collaborating with these hospitals to make room for those who need it the most. Despite what we're facing globally, we are in faith that God will give us the grace to serve one another in love," it said.
Christ's Commission Fellowship also opened its gym to nearby health workers and said it would also distribute food packs.
"God is with us in this faith-stretching time, and we trust that He holds everything in His hands. Indeed, His purpose will be accomplished. God bless us all," it said.
Caritas Manila, a Church-based nonprofit organization, is also giving away P1,000 gift checks to those who are in need, in coordination with local governments, Pabillo said.
"Kaugnayan po natin ang business communities. Sila po ang naglikom ng pera at pinadaan sa Caritas Manila. Ang Caritas Manila naman pinapadaan sa mga parokya. Ang mga parokya pumupunta kasama ang local governments para mamigay ng gift checks na ito," he said.
Priests are taking precautions and are placing themselves under self-quarantine if they show signs and symptoms of the respiratory illness, Pabillo said.
"Wala pa namang naveverify na positive. Sila ay nag-iingat na lang, pag may nararamdaaman sila at hindi pa natetest ay nagse-self-quarantine na lang muna sila," he said.
As of Tuesday, the Philippines has reported 88 deaths out of its total 2,084 cases of COVID-19.