Gov't urged to shorten curfew for Simbang Gabi: bishop

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 18 2020 09:07 AM | Updated as of Oct 18 2020 09:32 AM

Colorful lights outline the doorway of the Roman Catholic Church as Filipinos attend the first of nine dawn masses signaling the official start of the Christmas season in suburban Manila on December 16, 2015. The tradition of dawn masses dates back to the Spanish era. It culminates on Christmas Eve and it is a belief that anyone who completes the chain will have his wish granted. Jay Directo, AFP Photo

MANILA - The Catholic Church is urging local governments to shorten curfew to allow more mass services during Simbang Gabi or dawn masses which begins Dec. 16, Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo said Sunday.

Pabillo appealed to local officials to shorten curfew hours to 3 a.m. from 5 a.m. as more mass services can accommodate more faithful.

"Damihan yung misa para magkaroon ng physical distancing. Kung marami ang misa, kakalat ang tao," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

(More mass services will make way for physical distancing. If there are more masses, the crowd will spread.)

"Pwede kami magmisa ng alas-6 ng gabi hanggang alas-6 ng umaga para ma-spread out yung mga tao."

(We can hold masses from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. so we can spread out the crowd.)

The Catholic Church is also urging government's inter-agency task force against the virus to allow 30 percent of churches' capacity, Pabillo said.

"Sana, baguhin nila, kasi kung sa mga restaurant, 30 percent, 50 percent, mas malaki ang simbahan," he said.

(We hope they can change it. Churches are bigger compared with restaurants where 30 to 50 percent capacity is allowed.)

Filipinos are also urged to attend mass services this Undas as most cemeteries are closed to avoid the spread of COVID-19, Pabillo added.

"Yung Undas naman, pakiusap namin sa mga tao, magsimba sila sa Nov. 1 and Nov. 2... Pwede sila magsimba, dadamihan namin ang misa sa simbahan," he said.

(This Undas, we urge the public to attend mass on Nov. 1 and 2. They can attend mass, we will hold more mass services.)

Watch more in iWantTFC