Let LGUs decide on ‘Undas’ closure of cemeteries, says Manila bishop
MANILA, Philippines — Manila Archdiocese apostolic administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo on Thursday urged the national government to allow local government units to decide on the closure of cemeteries on All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day or “undas.”
Pabillo made this call after National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said he would recommend the temporary closure of cemeteries on “undas” in a bid to prevent crowding as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic persists.
“Sana hindi pagbawalan ang mga tao na pumunta ng sementeryo. Nasa kanila ang desisyon niyan, pero palagay ko mahirap gawin sa buong Pilipinas kasi ang ibang sementeryo, lalong lalo na sa mga barangay, wala namang ganyang danger,” Pabillo said on ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
(I hope they will not prevent people from coming to cemeteries. The decision is up to them, but I think it will be hard to implement in the entire country as some cemeteries, especially those in barangays, do not pose that kind of danger.)
“’Yung sa City ng Manila, sa mga cities okay lang, pero kung gawin ‘yan sa buong bansa, ‘yung ibang sementeryo sa mga barangay konti lang ang pumupunta kahit sa November 1, kasi konti lang ang taong nandoon. Bakit hindi na lang ibigay ‘yan sa LGUs depende sa sitwasyon?” he added.
(It is okay to do that in the City of Manila and other cities. In other barangays, there are few who go to cemeteries even on November 1. Why not let LGUs decide on this depending on the situation in their areas?)
Pabillo added that Catholics may also go to church during “undas” to pray for their departed loved ones then visit the cemetery on less busy days.
The City of Manila earlier ordered public and private cemeteries in the city to close from October 31 to November 3 to prevent mass gathering in such areas.
Other cities in Metro Manila also announced that cemeteries will be closed during the week of All Saint’s Day.
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