DILG chief reminds Muslim Filipinos to observe ECQ as they celebrate Ramadhan

CALOOCAN CITY, April 27 (PIA) -- As Filipino Muslims living in areas under COVID-19 lockdown celebrated Ramadhan at home, Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on Saturday issued a message of "solidarity" and "faith" to the tens of millions followers of Islam in the country.

"The spirit of sacrifice, faith, obedience, discipline, and charity being observed by our Filipino Muslim brothers and sisters this month is very much in line with what is needed in the current imposition of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in high-risk areas as well as the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in low-risk areas starting May 1, 2020 amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic," Año said.

"The DILG, together with its attached agencies, especially the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), are one with you in ensuring a peaceful observance of Ramadhan," he added.

The DILG chief said as Filipino Muslims are observing fasting 14 hours a day, especially during these difficult times, if we stick together, stay united as a community, he is confident the Philippines will come out of this pandemic as a much stronger and united community.

"Whilst congregational prayers are not allowed to prevent mass gatherings, the quarantine safety measure is beneficial in easing your fasting as you stay home and do your solemn prayers and reflections. May this holy month further tighten the solidarity of Filipino Muslims with the nation in our common goal for a peaceful and progressive country," he said.

"As we continue to fight Covid-19, the DILG reiterates its call to local government units (LGUs) to ensure the provision of halal food packs to your Muslim constituents, as directed in DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2020-061, and ensure that Muslim communities are not bypassed in the relief operations," he added.

The offical also said DILG-attached agencies are continually providing public service amid the lockdown.

"As for Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) in the facilities of the Bureau of Jail Management and Pedology (BJMP), the Bureau is ensuring the provision of halal food and the observance of physical distancing during prayer activities in jails. The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is also on guard in ensuring a fire safe nation," he said.

"Again, I wish our Muslim brothers and sisters a blessed observance of Ramadhan! May we continue to tread the path of unity amid diversity through tolerance and coexistence; solidarity amid challenges; and faith in our only one God who will not fail us from our common enemies such as COVID-19. Ramadhan kareem!" he added.

To recall, Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. This year, Ramadhan lasts from April 23 to May 23. (PIA NCR)

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