The IATF came out with a recent decision that set the parameters for activities for the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) and the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ). In the church we are happy that in both, religious activities are allowed. But at the same time the limitations they give to religious activities are unreasonable. 5 persons for MECQ and 10 persons for MGCQ! It is just another way of saying that you do not have religious activities.

Where did they get these numbers. Why is it that they do not give the absolute numbers of persons who can enter a store, or work in the office, or in the factory? Can they say that only 10 persons should work in an office, or that 20 persons work in a factory, or that only 5 persons can enter a store at a time? This would be preposterous!

There are many churches with different sizes. 5 persons for such a big church as Baclaran or the Manila Cathedral is laughable! The one-size-fits-all directive is really unreasonable! Why not give instead the instruction that there be one meter or two-meter distance between persons?

This directive on religious activities was surely taken without any consultation with the religious sector. This is a problem with the government. They make arbitrary decisions without proper consultation with the sectors involved. So they come out with unreasonable directives!

Broderick Pabillo
May 17, 2020