Malacañang on Thursday enjoined Filipinos to reflect on faith and peace during the observance of the Holy Week as the Philippines reels from the devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are one with the whole Catholic community in the Philippines and in the world in observing the Lenten season. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, let us remind ourselves of the ultimate sacrifice, rooted in love and compassion, by our Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of all,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement.
“May it further inspire us to persevere with faith and peace in our hearts, and to help bring significant changes in our society, especially as we continue recovering from this pandemic,” he added.
For the second straight year, Filipinos spent Holy Week at home without the traditional religious rites and gatherings.
A virus spike early March prompted authorities to put Metro Manila and nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until Easter Sunday, subject to further review.
“We also ask those in the areas that have been placed under ECQ to stay at home as religious gatherings have been prohibited and to adhere to the 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew hours. We wish everyone a safe observance of Holy Week,” Andanar said.
As of March 31, the country posted 747,288 total number of Covid-19 cases, of which 130,245 were active. The figures are said to be the highest in the Southeast Asian region and the fourth highest in Asia.