As the Church prays for people affected by tropical depression Basyang, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma has instructed parish priests to open the church facilities for possible evacuees.
“If there is a need for people to evacuate, then we should make our centers, gymnasiums, schools, and even churches to people who want to take shelter,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.
“Time and again, that is my instruction to the clergy because we believe that when the demand arises, we should put into use whatever structures we have,” he added.
The prelate earlier stressed that the doors of the churches should be opened, not just to Catholics but even to those belonging to other religious sects.
In 2014, Palma expressed dismay after he received a report that a church belonging to one of the religious congregations in Talisay City, refused to accept evacuees during a typhoon.
The incident prompted Palma to issue a statement, requesting all priests to open wide the doors of churches to evacuees.
If there is a need for a bigger space, the Archdiocese of Cebu expressed willingness to also open the International Eucharistic Congress Convention Center of Cebu (IC3 Convention Center) to evacuees.
The IC3 Convention Center, which was primarily built for the 51st IEC Congress in Cebu City in 2016, can accommodate at least 12,000 people.
The building has been used as a venue for religious gatherings, concerts, and a pastoral center.