Ozamis Archbishop Martin Jumoad slammed the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases for allegedly prioritizing tourism over giving priority to devotees.
According to a report by One Mindanao in the First News on Thursday, Jumoad criticized the IATF in a mass sermon.
“Ang Boracay pinabuksan na ng IATF, tapos kasali ang kabataan at mga matatanda. Nalilito talaga ako sa IATF. Hindi puwede na magsimba ang mga bata, mga kabataan, pero puwede nang pumunta sa Boracay. Iba talaga ang prayoridad ang mayroon itong IATF,” Archbishop Jumoad said.
(Boracay has been opened by the IATF wherein the youth and the elderly could visit. I am really confused with the IATF. Children, young people can no longer go to church, but can now go to Boracay. The IATF has a different priority.)
Archbishop Jumoad also mentioned that even cemeteries, including those owned by the Catholic Church, were closed by the IATF without consultation.
Jumoad added that they could do nothing but obey the order.
Archbishop Jumoad lambasts IATF for reopening Boracay
It will be recalled that the IATF has ordered the closure of all cemeteries nationwide from October 29 to November 4 to prevent the overcrowding and spread of COVID-19 during Undas.
Under the guidelines of IATF, churches hold religious services at 50-percent seating capacity in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). For areas under the GCQ, only 10 people would be allowed while five areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ.)
Metro Manila, Batangas, Tacloban City, Bacolod City, Iligan City, and Iloilo City were still under GCQ until October 31.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases meanwhile placed Lanao del Sur, including Marawi City, under a more stringent MECQ. The rest of the country is now under MGCQ.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced Monday that tourists aged 21 years old and below and 60 years old above could also visit Boracay Island starting October 1.
Boracay tourists would need to present a negative PCR coronavirus test result 48 to 72 hours before their trip. They also need to register online with any of the authorized resorts and establishments the DOT has certified.