Reopening of mosques in Philippine areas under GCQ to be sought

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 25 2020 04:50 PM

People are seen near the Golden Mosque in Quiapo in Manila on May 23, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) said Monday it will suggest the reopening of mosques in areas that have shifted to a general community quarantine.

NCMF Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan said the commission will make the recommendation when it meets with the government inter-agency task force on COVID-19 on Tuesday.

"We are likely to recommend the reopening of the mosques especially in those areas na may GCQ," he said in a virtual press briefing.

"Medyo mahirap tanggapin ng mga kapatid nating Muslim ang prohibition on religious mass gathering," he added.

(It is a bit difficult for our Muslim brothers to accept the prohibition on religious mass gatherings.)

Pangarungan however assured that Muslims are willing to relax some of its worship practices so they could practice physical distancing in prayers.

"We Muslims pray shoulder to shoulder, dikit-dikit kami pag nagpe-pray kami, and we are also aligned in one line. Applying the Muslim principle of necessity and emergency, I think we can relax this rule and practice social distancing," he said.

The Muslim community marked Eid'l Fitr on Monday to mark the end of Ramadan. Malacañang has earlier declared Eid'l Fitr to be a regular holiday.

Pangarungan said the country's Muslim population is around 12 million.