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The celebration of Simbang Gabi (pre-dawn Masses) for the Christmas season would be limited to 30-percent capacity in chapels inside police camps in the country, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

"As for Misa de Gallo (Spanish term for pre-dawn Masses), it should also be controlled. Our chapel inside Camp Crame would also control the crowd and would use Zoom for online viewing. If the rules say only 30 percent is allowed, we would follow that,” Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Debold Sinas said in a media interview Thursday.

The "Simbang Gabi" is a Filipino tradition, during which, the Catholic faithful attend pre-dawn Masses on the nine days leading to Christmas Day.

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Under rules by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), religious gatherings are allowed at 30-percent capacity in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ).

Sinas said the PNP will strictly enforce the “no-caroling” and “no Christmas party” policy to avoid mass gatherings.

However, he said the traditional lighting of Christmas tree and lanterns will push through at the PNP National Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City

“We'll do the traditional lighting of Christmas tree, and gift-giving on the same occasion. No gathering. There would only be messages from President Rodrigo Duterte, SILG (Secretary of Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año) and from me,” he noted.

Earlier, Año said holding of Christmas parties in areas under GCQ, like Metro Manila, will not be allowed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.


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