Philippines allows limited religious gatherings in GCQ areas as 'ber' months begin

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 01 2020 12:32 PM

Philippines allows limited religious gatherings in GCQ areas as 'ber' months begin 1
Catholic devotees observe physical distancing as they line up outside Quiapo Church in Manila on Friday amid the general community quarantine, June 5, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Religious gatherings can resume in general community quarantine areas starting Tuesday, Malacañang said as the 'ber' months usher in the unofficial start of the Christmas season.

Religious gatherings, including those in Metro Manila, will be limited to 10 percent of the venue's seating capacity, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

"Pinayagan na po ang 10 percent seating capacity. Sa [National Capital Region], pinayagan na rin po ang religious gatherings up to 10 percent hindi lamang sa 10 katao," Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

(The 10 percent seating capacity was allowed. In NCR, religious gatherings up to 10 percent capacity--not just 10 people--were allowed.)

Aside from the National Capital Region, the provinces of Bulacan and Batangas, and the cities of Tacloban and Bacolod will remain under GCQ until Sept. 30.

Iligan City in Lanao del Norte, on the other hand, was placed under modified enhanced community quarantine while the rest of the Philippines was put under modified GCQ.

The Philippines, with its 100 million people, is the bastion of Roman Catholicism in Asia, with 8 in 10 people subscribing to the faith. Spanish colonizers brought the religion in the 1500s.