MANILA – On the day of the celebration of the Feast of Ramadhan, the National Commission on Muslim Filipino (NCMF) said it is likely to recommend the reopening of mosques under the general community quarantine (GCQ), subject to full implementation of physical distancing and other safety measures.
NCMF Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan said the commission would submit its recommendation to the next meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for Emerging Infectious Disease following the low fatality rate of Muslim Filipinos from Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
“We are inclined to recommend to allow the prayers inside the mosque after the lockdown,” Pangarungan said during the Laging Handa public briefing. “Dikit-dikit kami sa aming pagsamba sa mosque ngunit maari itong maiba dahil sa problema kalusugan” (We used to be very physically near with each other during our prayer service but we can change it because of the health issue), he further said.
On the other hand, Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Permanent Committee on Public Affairs during a TV-radio interview on May 27, said “in the second week of May ay nagpalabas na po ang CBCP ng guidelines, ibig sabihin na handa nang magbukas ang simbahan” (the CBCP had issued the guidelines in the second week of May, which means the church is ready to open), he said.
He continued that churches will institute a lot of changes from the number of mass goers, wearing of facemask, maintaining physical distancing, the number of priests and altar servers, the use of separate disinfected microphones, washing of hands, the manner in the collection of alms, and receiving Holy Communion.
Fr. Secillano also enumerated some changes in the ceremonies of the Sacraments of Baptism and Matrimony. “Ang minimum requirement sa binyag ay ang bata at ina at ama nito, at isang ninang at ninong. This is also true sa kasal na ang parents ng ikinakasal at isang ninong at ninang” (The minimum requirement for baptism is the child and his/her parents and one pair of sponsors. This is also true for wedding with the parents and one pair of sponsors), he said.