by Margaux Salcedo
All churches and shrines in the Archdiocese of Manila will go back to ECQ protocols from August 3 to 14.
This is the mandate of the Pastoral Instruction of Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, released August 1. The Archdiocese of Manila includes the cities of Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, Pasay and San Juan.
Not only public masses but all religious activities will be suspended in this period, although all online religious activities will continue.
According to the Pastoral Instruction, this is to "heed the call of our medical people", considering that "the infection rate of COVID-19 has already reached more than 5,000 a day". Earlier in the day on August 1, the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) and Philippine Medical Association (PMA) called a press conference asking for a "time out" of two weeks or from August 1 to 15 "to recalibrate the government’s COVID-19 strategies.”
Bishop Pabillo also called on stakeholders, saying that "all stakeholders really need this time to come together to evaluate and improve our approaches to fight this pandemic."
He also reiterated the need for each individual and each family to "take seriously the health protocols to keep safe, such as the proper use of face masks, the required physical distancing, the frequent hand washing, and not going out of the house unless truly necessary."
The Bishop also called on the faithful to "intensify our prayers that our front liners may be kept safe, that those who are sick may get well soon, and that all our families be protected from the virus."
"Nothing is impossible with God," Bishop Pabillo reminds the public. "He is powerful and He loves us."
Read the Pastoral Instruction in full: