MANILA – The Archdiocese of Lipa in Batangas on Saturday clarified that it is compliant with community quarantine guidelines being implemented by the government.
According to the Commission on Health Care of the archdiocese, Lipa Archbishop Gilbert Garcera has coordinated with the Provincial Board of Batangas to stop the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the province.
“The Archdiocese of Lipa headed by His Excellency Most Reverend Gilbert Garcera entered into a bilateral understanding last March 16, 2020, with Honorable Hermilando Mandanas, Governor of the Province of Batangas, to help prevent the spread of Covid-19,” the diocese said in a statement posted on the Radio Veritas website.
The archdiocese added it is strictly implementing the safety health protocol in all churches and various Catholic institutions in Batangas to avoid the spread and increase in Covid-19 cases.
“Since then, enshrined in the Oratio Imperata (obligatory prayer) recited during Masses, the Archdiocese has been very vigilant and supportive in implementing all safety and health protocols in parishes, schools, and other Catholic institutions as prescribed by the provincial government and the Covid-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF),” it said.
The archdiocese’s statement came after Lipa Archbishop-Emeritus Ramon Arguelles, in a homily, said there is no need to wear face masks, face shields, and observe physical distancing to fight the virus, but the faith and love for God will heal sickness.
The Lipa archdiocese clarified that statements of individuals that will violate the understanding between the church and the government are not the opinion of the archdiocese.
“The Archdiocese of Lipa cordially informs that any assertion or opinion by any individual contrary to the provisions of the bilateral understanding does not represent the mind of the whole Archdiocese,” it said.
As of Friday, Batangas has 6,342 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 2,602 active cases, 3,577 recoveries, and 163 deaths. (PNA)