All cemeteries here are closed from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3 to prevent public gathering during All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days or Undas that may cause the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Mayor Edgardo Labella signed Executive Order 092 on Thursday, temporarily closing the city’s private and public cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaries.
In a virtual presser, Labella said he issued the EO in line with the measures against Covid-19 and recognizing the Omnibus Guidelines on Community Quarantine issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) that prohibits mass gatherings.
“This is to prevent overcrowding and the spread of the virus inside cemeteries during the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day,” Labella said.
The city government “continues to put the people’s health as its top priority”, he said.
While the government understands that Filipinos honor their departed loved ones by visiting their tombs and offering prayers, Labella said he issued the directive early to give people time to schedule their visits through the days leading to the closure.
He urged the public to visit their departed loved ones either before Oct. 30 or after Nov. 3.
“This is for the safety of the public because millions flock the cemeteries on kalag-kalag (Undas). We can’t risk the spread of Covid-19 in our city,” he said.
The EO, however, exempts interment or cremation services which are allowed to be done by private or public cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaries even during the coming holidays.
The city currently has at least 23 cemeteries where millions flock every year.
The mayor said the public may pray for the souls of their late loved ones from home as certain traditions such as Undas would also have to adapt to temporary changes because of the pandemic.
Source: Philippines News Agency