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Cebu Catholic Church excites with plan to use parishes as vaccination sites

The Archdiocese of Cebu has accepted the move of the local government units (LGU) here to utilize parish churches as vaccination.

This they say is a way of encouraging lay faithful to get inoculated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Monsignor Joseph Tan, the archdiocese spokesperson, in Thursday’s press briefing for the preparations of the “Kalag-Kalag”, cited the Roman Catholic Church’s contribution in fighting against the pandemic by volunteering the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) Convention Center near the Pope John XIII Minor Seminary in Barangay Mabolo to be used as isolation center for symptomatic coronavirus patients.

The IEC center has been utilized as the official vaccination site of Project Balik Buhay, a public-private partnership that is working to recover Cebu’s economy through inoculation.

“It’s not a question if the church would lend its parishes as vaccination sites. The question there lies on the strategic and logistical value of the move because if we open all parishes for vaccination while the people are not going to the existing vaccination sites, I mean I think before we will think of that let’s make sure it’s strategically feasible because this will entail money on the part of the LGU, this will entail personnel on the part of the LGU,” Tan said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

He said the church will just lend the parishes as venues for inoculation but the expenses and food for the vaccinators, screening personnel, healthcare workers, volunteers, and other logistical needs would be taken care of by the LGUs.

According to the priest, he believes that Cebu does not run out of centers but noted there is a lack of effort in convincing the people who refused to get vaccinated because of misinformation circulating, especially through social media.

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He further noted that the local church is actively working with the government and private sector to educate Cebuanos about the benefit of being inoculated.

Although many of the priests are already vaccinated, Tan said some priests have staunched critics against inoculation but were advised not to use the pulpit in telling the churchgoers against taking doses of the vaccine.

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