EOC: Still no Misa de Gallo allowed in gyms

By: Delta Letigio - CDN Digital | December 16,2020 - 02:09 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines —The Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will not reconsider its decision to prohibit the holding of dawn masses inside gymnasiums.

Councilor Joel Garganera, the deputy chief implementor of the EOC, said that the decision was not made by the agency alone but it was also the decision of the police, armed forces, Association of Barangay Councils (ABC), and health authorities.

The councilor said that sports gyms may be a viable option to divide the crowd, but the security personnel of the city are simply not enough to monitor these in addition to the churches.

Read: ‘More security personnel, venues needed for Misa de Gallo’

On Wednesday, December 16, 2020, churches around Metro Cebu were filled with people attending the first day of the novena masses leading to Christmas Day.

LOOK: Photos of churches around Metro Cebu during first day of Misa de Gallo 2020

Garganera said the police can only manage the security of the 35 churches in the city, but could not promise to monitor these alternative venues should they be allowed to hold Misa de Gallo.

To avoid spreading the security personnel too thinly, the EOC and other agencies have decided not to allow remote masses to be held for the meantime.

“We understand that people are used to it, but we are in the middle of the pandemic. Anyway, the churches have two Misa de Gallos, and the masses are streamed live,” said Garganera.

Although the crowd on the first day may draw the attention to the lack of other venues to hold masses, the EOC praised the churches for maintaining health protocols within the church compounds at least.

However, the EOC understand that not all plans are perfect and it is willing to work with the churches that are having difficult time controlling the crowd outside the churches.

“We will identify these churches that need focus and we will formulate ways to improve their situation,” said Garganera.

The councilor appeals to the public to be mindful or their behaviour when attending the masses as even with tight security, if the public remains uncooperative, authorities will have a hard time controlling the crowd.

/bmjo

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TAGS: Cebu City, Christmas 2020, Dawn Masses, EOC, gym, Misa de Gallo, Misa de Gallo 2020, new normal

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