Cortes to Mandaue parishioners: Go home if churches are already full
MANDAUE CITY, Philippines – The Mandaue City government will no longer allow people outside churches during the celebration of Misa de Gallo and Simbang Gabi especially at the National Shrine of Saint Joseph.
Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes said that although social distancing was observed inside the churches, it was a completely different story outside. The mayor said it would be better if those who can’t secure a spot inside the churches will just go home.
Cortes said that because there were a lot of people and security was limited, it was difficult to strictly implement standard health protocols.
“Amo’ng i discuss nga once kung puno na ang Simbahan dili ma gyud pasaudlan ngari (in front of city hall) kay dili naman gyud mapugngan ang mga tawo, nawa na ang social distancing, dili man tingale dautan og dili na ta magpasulod kay ato’ng intention dili magtinakdanay simbako lang og adunay usa dira positive,”
On Wednesday, December 16, 2020, during the first day of Misa de Gallo, hundreds of parishioners attended the dawn Masses held in different churches and satellite venues around the city.
The National Shrine of St. Joseph alone drew at least 800 individuals according to Police Major Mercy Villaro, spokesperson of the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO).
Lawyer Lizer Malate, head of the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) said they will not add more satellite venues so as not to spread their personnel too thinly.
Instead of going to churches, city officials are asking residents to join the celebration at home via live streaming instead to avoid getting infected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“Hangyo nato sa kaigsuunan nga mahimo man tingale mapadayun ato’ng hugot nga pagtuo pinaagi sa online masses kay bisag asa paminawon man ta, hinaot makasabot sila sa stricter (protocols),” Malate said. /rcg
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