Illegal settlers out of Manila North Cemetery
MANILA, Philippies — Manila officials expect a smoother flow of foot traffic on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day after shanties and other obstructions were demolished in public cemeteries.
Hundreds of families were displaced after a team from the Manila Department of Public Safety (DPS) tore down makeshift homes inside the Manila North Cemetery in clearing operations lasting from Oct. 10 to Nov. 3.
They included families living inside mausoleums, said Antonio Salmos, DPS-District 3 operations manager.
The DPS personnel have collected 28 truckloads of wood, galvanized sheets and other materials.
To further ensure smoother flow of visitors, Manila North Cemetery chief Roselle Castañeda said that only vendors of candles and flowers will be allowed to sell but at a designated area.
“The area near the main entrance will only be for vendors who sell items at Manila North Cemetery all year round,” she said in an interview.
“The past years when visitors arrive at the main rotonda, that area is full of vendors. We cleared that now,” Salmos said.
Some 2 million visitors are expected at the cemetery on Friday and Saturday.
In Manila South Cemetery, which is located in Makati City but is owned by Manila, DPS personnel collected 26 truckloads of trash.
According to Elnora Bodino, DPS-District 5 operations manager, there were no informal settlers living inside the cemetery.
She added that vendors volunteered to leave the area after the city government announced the implementation of no-vendor policy.
In Navotas City, local officials expect some 15,000 visitors to the NavoHimlayan and nearby private cemeteries on those two days.
Weapons or sharp objects, alcoholic drinks, gambling materials, loud speakers and firearms are prohibited inside the cemeteries. Parents are encouraged to make their children wear nametags with their contact details.
“We also appeal to all residents and visitors to practice zero waste in the cemetery. Please refrain from irresponsible disposal of trash,” Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco said.