Marikina to implement regulated visits to cemeteries from Oct. 15 to Nov. 30
MANILA, Philippines — As cemeteries in Marikina can only accept 30 percent of its capacity, the city’s local government will implement regulated visits from October 15 to November 30.
However, Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said on Thursday that the cemeteries would be closed from October 31 to November 1 and November 2 — the Catholic Church’s All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
Teodoro said that this is another measure to prevent coronavirus transmissions, especially since cemeteries tend to get crowded during this time of the year.
“Alam natin na ang threat ng COVID-19 ay hindi mawawala, at ang viral transmission ay puwedeng ma-highten o magkaroon pa ng mas maraming kaso kung magkakaroon ng mass gathering lalo na sa pagdalaw ng mga kababayan natin sa puntod ng kanilang mga namayapang minamahal,” he said.
(We know that the treat of COVID-19 will not go away, and the viral transmissions may increase or create more cases when mass gatherings are conducted, like when people would visit the graves of their dearly departed.)
“Kaya ang naisip natin una ay isara ‘yung mga sementeryo sa Marikina sa araw ng Oct. 31, Nov.1 and Nov. 2,” he added.
(That’s why what we thought was to close the cemeteries in Marikina from Oct. 31, Nov. 1, and Nov. 2.)
No executive order has been formulated as of now, but Teodoro assured that they would create one in the coming days.
But what people might do is to get a one-time cemetery pass from the cemetery, where they can pick what day they would visit. Once they use their pass, they cannot make another visit to the said cemetery.
Teodoro said that they understand that religious practices like these could not be fully stopped, but he urged Marikina residents to comply with such orders to ensure public health safety.
“Bibigyan natin ng window of opportunity ang mga gustong dumalaw from October 15 hanggang November 30. Magbibigay din tayo ng schedule marahil sa pamamagitan ng mga cemetery administration para hindi ma-congest ang mga sementeryo rito sa Marikina,” he said.
(We are giving visitors a window of opportunity from October 15 up to November 30. We would also be giving schedules maybe through the cemetery administrations to prevent congestions inside Marikina cemeteries.)
“Ang kailangan lang nilang gawin ay kumuha ng one-time use cemetery pass mula sa sementeryo kung saan sila may yumaong mahal sa buhay. After noon, pipili sila sa available dates of visit para ma-regulate na at least 30 percent lang ng visitor capacity ang makakapasok para may social distancing,” he added.
(What they can do is to get a one-time-use pass from the cemetery where their relatives are buried. After that, they would choose from the available dates of visit to regulate the visitor capacity to only 30 percent, and to enforce social distancing.)
As of Wednesday, Marikina still has one of the lowest COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila, with just 418 of the 1,755 confirmed cases considered active. However, the local government has repeatedly stressed that they are trying to avoid more cases to secure the health of its residents.
Other local governments are also mulling the closure of cemeteries during the Undas season, with the City of Manila already passing an executive order that would close cemeteries from October 31 to November 3.
Amid the national government’s call to close cemeteries to curb infections, Manila Archdiocese apostolic administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that this role should be given to local governments as not all cemeteries are in danger zones or areas susceptible to COVID-19 transmissions.[ac]
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