All cemeteries in Manila City ordered closed during 2020 ‘Undas’ season
MANILA, Philippines — Public and private cemeteries in the city of Manila were ordered shut during this year’s “Undas” season to avoid the massive gathering of people, Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said Tuesday.
Moreno announced via Facebook live that he signed Executive Order No. 38, directing the closure of all cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaries in Manila City from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3.
“Akin pong isasara pansamantala ang mga sementeryo dahil sa alam naman po natin na ang isa sa biglang pagdami ng coronavirus ay sa ating pakikihalubilo, siksikan, sama-sama sa isang lugar. Para mabawasan na rin ang paglago ng coronavirus ay pansamantala ko itong isasara,” the city chief executive said.
(I will temporarily close cemeteries because as we all know, one of the causes of the surge in coronavirus transmission is mingling, crowding, gathering of people in one place. In order to arrest the increase of coronavirus spread, I will temporarily close cemeteries.)
Under Moreno’s Executive Order No. 38, only interment and cremation services for non-COVID-19 cases will be allowed during Undas season but strict health protocols must be observed.
However, Moreno said those who wish to honor their dead can go to cemeteries in Manila City from Sept. 8 until Oct. 30 to prevent mass gathering.
The Mayor noted that overcrowding is highly likely during the Undas season especially in the city’s largest burial grounds namely: Manila North Cemetery that has 105,837 graves, and Manila South Cemetery that has 39,228 graves.
According to city mayor, Manila North Cemetery can accommodate up to 1.5 million visitors while Manila South Cemetery, up to 800,000.
But Moreno said he may cancel his order once a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available in Manila.
“Kung sakali na naman dumating ang vaccine para sa coronavirus, para hindi na tayo magkasakit at gumaling ang may sakit, by Oct. 30 akin po itong kakanselin,” he said.
(If the vaccine arrives by Oct.30, I will cancel this directive.)
Also, Moreno said he will cancel his executive order if the national government also revises its health protocols before the Undas season.
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