Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Tuesday has expressed her gratitude to the Diocese of Novaliches for allowing the use of their big parishes as inoculation sites ahead of the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in the country.

At their breakfast meeting, the Diocese of Novaliches led by Bishop Most Rev. Fr. Roberto Gaa has expressed their willingness to let the city use their facilities as vaccination sites.

“The city is very grateful to the Diocese of Novaliches especially to Bishop Most Rev. Fr. Roberto Gaa for letting us use their parishes’ facilities for our COVID-19 vaccination drives. Since the community quarantine was implemented, they have been closely working with us and they do whatever they can for our city,” Mayor Belmonte said.

“With some of our residents expressing hesitancy to be inoculated, the strong support and active participation of the church in the government’s vaccination drive will definitely help raise the confidence and trust of our people in vaccination,” she added.

The Diocese also agreed to use KyusiPass, the city’s contact tracing application, in their parishes to help the city in its contact tracing efforts.

According to Diocese of Novaliches Vicar General Fr. Tony Labiao Jr., aside from the facilities, the church will also help the city in mobilizing its parishioners to take part in the city’s vaccination.

“Malaki ang impact kapag nakiisa ang simbahan sa mga ganitong programa ng pamahalaan lalo na sa mga parishioner. The Diocese is always willing to help the city especially if it is for the common good of the community,” Fr. Labiao said.

In Novaliches alone, there are 15 big parishes that the city can utilize when the vaccination drive takes place.

“Once our parishes are utilized as inoculation sites, we assure everyone that we will comply with the Department of Health’s standards to ensure the safety of our citizens and health workers.” Mayor Belmonte added.

The city government has been working side by side with the Diocese of Novaliches in ensuring good governance, as well as in the city’s community drug rehabilitation program.

Some of their parishes served as the city’s payout sites during the distribution of its Social Amelioration Program — Kalingang QC.

In July, the city government has also partnered with the diocese in utilizing the 5,000- square meter unused land in Novaliches as a model community farm as part of the city’s food security program.