MANILA, Philippines — The Archdiocese of Manila has opened its churches and facilities to accommodate frontliners of COVID-19 crisis who are in need of temporary shelter during the ongoing enhanced community quarantine, a church official said Saturday.
Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Permanent Committee on Public Affairs, told Radyo Veritas that it will allow law enforcers and other frontliners to stay in their facility.
“Pormal ng binuksan ng Archdiocese of Manila sa mga COVID-19 frontliners tulad ng mga medical health worker, mga kagawad ng Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines at Bureau of Jail Management and Penology ang mga simbahan at mga pasilidad nito na maging pansamantalang matutuluyan,” he said.
(The Archdiocese of Manila formally opened its churches for temporary shelter of COVID-19 frontliners like medical workers and members of Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.)
Here are the guidelines for pastors accommodating police officers and other frontliners in their churches:
1.) Accommodate and talk to police-visitors and discuss with them the purpose of their visit. They are to identify themselves and give the names their commanding officers who sent them. Note these down for proper documentation
2.) Parish priests or another priest designated by the parish priest are to communicate with them.
3.) Letter of request from either the Chief PNP, City Mayor or the City Police Chief addressed to the Local Ordinary or the Apostolic Administrator of Manila is to be given. This letter will be sent to the Administrator for verification. Personal request, meaning without the behest of the PNP Chief, City Mayor or City Police Chief, should be politely declined.
4.) Once the request is granted by the Apostolic Administrator, pastors are to be responsible in determining the extent of help to be given to Police front liners. How many days will they be staying? Will they be provided food, drinks and other basic necessities? Some are merely looking for a place to stay and would not expect the above-mentioned provisions.
5.) Only schools, halls, gymnasiums and other rooms are to be used for such accommodation, not the church itself.
6.) Once they are accommodated, make a close coordination with Barangay officials and inform the latter of the presence of policemen in your church.
7.) If the parish is unable to accommodate them, politely decline such a request and refer them to the Coordinating Committee led by Fr. Jason Laguerta and Fr. Jerome Secillano and let the Committee suggest another available place if there is any.
8.) We need to exercise prudence and charity in dealing with people in need.
9.) The greater good of the parish should also be considered in this particular situation.
10.) The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) reserves the right to either allow or refuse the use of church’s facilities under its jurisdiction.
Edited by JPV
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