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BUTUAN CITY – Due to the rising number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in the country, all public events are prohibited to prevent the spreading of viral disease.

In line with this, in agreement with the declaration of Public Health Emergency, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued Circular Number 2010 to the bishops and diocesan administrator including the Diocese of Butuan, wherein eight (8) Precautionary Measures are enforced:

1. Persons who are not feeling well should not attend huge activities or celebrations, and if possible, undergo self-quarantine.

2. Priests and devotees should always keep the liturgical places clean, particularly in the images of saints there should be alcohol and hand sanitizer in place.

3. During the communion, everyone is advised to place the host in your hands instead of putting it directly it to your mouth.

4. All the priests and assistants conducting communion should wear face masks.

5. All the holy water fonts at the church entrance and adoration chapels should not be used temporarily.

6. Those who are going to confess especially during the lent season should proceed directly to the confessional box. General absolution is allowed but doing confession face to face should be avoided.

7. Avoid kissing and touching the saint images and other sacred objects.

8. All major gatherings should be suspended.

Catholic churches in Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte will also comply with the stated precautionary measures.

Priests performing the rites are the ones who have the authority to cancel the mass if they see fit.

During the offering, the box should be held by the collector alone and should not be passed on. The assigned person to count the offering should also wear a face mask and use hand sanitizer or alcohol because the virus might be carried forth through the money.

The alcohol placed accessible for the churchgoers is also noticeable in the St. Joseph Cathedral in Butuan.

Most Rev. Cosme Damian Almedilla D.D, bishop of Butuan, is calling the public to comply with the DOH hygiene protocol.

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