Gov’t allows religious gatherings in GCQ areas at 50% capacity

The government’s against has allowed religious gatherings in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) at 50% of the venue’s capacity.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Friday the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) approved this during its meeting Thursday.

“Starting February 15, pinapayagan na po ang religious gatherings up to 50% of the seating or venue capacity,” Roque said.

The IATF also authorized “the reopening and further expansion” of the following industries in GCQ areas:

  • Driving schools
  • Traditional cinemas
  • Video and interactive-game
  • Libraries, archives, museums, cultural centers
  • Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions
  • Limited social events at credited establishments of the Department of Tourism
  • Limited tourist attractions, such as parks, theme parks, natural sites and historical landmarks

However, this will be subject to “implementing guidelines which will provide for the operational capacity, and oversight of the appropriate regulatory agency and the concerned local government units where these businesses/industries are located,” Roque said in a statement.

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Gov’t allows religious gatherings in GCQ areas at 50% capacity

“These businesses/industries shall comply with the strict observance of minimum public health standards set by the Department of Health,” he added.

The COVID-19 “attack rate” or the proportion of people who become infected is not increasing, and hospitals have not encountered utilization issues, Roque said.

“Alinsunod ito sa katotohanan na kailangan nating magbukas pa ng ekonomiya dahil kinakailangan magkaroon ng karagdagang hanapbuhay ang ating mga kababayan,” Roque said in an interview on the government’s television network.

(This is in line with the reality that we need to further open the economy because our compatriots need to earn a living.)

“Iyong mga nabuksan nating industriya, marami pong nagtatrabaho d’yan na matagal nang walang hanapbuhay. Ngayon po magkakahanapbuhay na silang muli.”

(In the industries that we opened, many are working there that have not had a livelihood for a long time. They can now earn.)

As of January 29, the areas under GCQ are Cordillera Administrative Region, , Batangas, City, Davao City, Davao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and Iligan City.