NCMF announces the re-opening of Masjids under MGCQ areas

COTABATO CITY – The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Secretary Saidamen B. Pangarungan announced the re-opening of Masjid for prayers in parts of the country and in Bangsamoro Region from June 1 to June 15, 2020 after President Rodrigo R. Duterte declared on May 28, the placing of select areas under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) with certain conditions.
The regions under MGCQ are BARMM along with Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, Caraga pursuant to IATF-EID Resolution No. 40 dated May 27, 2020, the basis of Pres. Duterte’s declaration.

Under Section 5 [4] of the “Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines”, religious gatherings like prayers in Masjids shall be allowed in areas declared under MGCQ provided that participants or worshippers shall be limited to fifty (50%) percent of the seating capacity of the venue or mosque.

In the NCMF advisory, it stated that “the MGCQ areas, minimum public health standards as prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH) and related protocols issued by the appropriate government agencies shall be complied. This includes the following:

1. Social or physical distancing of at least 1 meter apart between worshippers shall be strictly observed at all times. No handshake, no hugging. Over-crowding in the door or pathway must be avoided. Those who will not be accommodated inside the mosque are encouraged to pray at home.

2. Wearing of face masks inside the mosque is mandatory.

3. The door/s and window/s of mosques must be kept open to ensure air ventilation. For an air-conditioned room, the air-con unit must either be turned off; or turned on in combination with exhaust fans or electric fans, both on open doors and windows.

4. Thermal scanners, hand sanitizers / rubbing alcohol must be provided in the entrance of the mosque. Temperature scanning shall be administered for every worshipper before allowed entrance.

5. Ablution at home is encouraged to avoid overcrowding in the washing area.

6. Children and the elderly [60 years and above], those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities or other health risks, and pregnant women, shall stay at home and are discouraged from entering the mosque.

7. The mosque administrator and Imam must work closely with the LGUs: city/municipal/barangay officials in enforcing the aforementioned safety protocols.”

Meanwhile, in middle east, King Salman bin Abdulaziz had approved on Friday the opening of Saudi Arabia Prophet’s Mosque in Medina for worshipers on May 31which has been closed as precautionary measures against the Covid-19 pandemic. 

A report said that worshipers will be allowed to enter the mosque for group prayers, with a limit of 40% capacity starting from Fajar prayers on Sunday with implementation of several coronavirus precautionary measures.