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DURING ONE-WEEK CLOSURE OF CEMETERIES

Wakes, burials, cremations still allowed in Metro Manila

By: - Reporter / @MegINQ
/ 04:42 AM September 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Wakes, burials and cremations will still be allowed during the closure of cemeteries and memorial parks during the week of “Undas” or the annual observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

“Gates [to cemeteries, memorial parks and columbariums] will be padlocked during the one-week closure, but these events will still be allowed since we only want to prevent people from entering on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day,” Jojo Garcia, general manager of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), said in a press briefing on Monday.

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Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez, who chairs the Metro Manila Council (MMC), also said interments and cremations should continue from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4.

Final say

On Sunday, the 17 mayors who make up the council agreed to close all cemeteries in Metro Manila for three days before and after Nov. 1.

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While implementation of crowd control measures would vary among the local governments, Garcia said the entire metropolis would follow a uniform one-week closure of the cemeteries.

Flower, candle vendors

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has the final say on this matter, including the specific dates the closure of the cemeteries will be enforced.

Garcia said the cemeteries “are open every day, which means that the vendors still have customers … But once the cemeteries are closed, it’s their call on whether they would remain open. If the cemeteries are closed, no one will be allowed to go there and no one would also buy from them.”

He encouraged the public to avoid gatherings and instead assign one member of the family to go to the cemetery while other relatives observe the annual Undas at home.

Garcia said the task force would determine whether the same measures would be adopted in neighboring provinces.

Some local governments have already issued guidelines for the observance of All Saints’ Day.

With a report from Dexter Cabalza

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TAGS: burials, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, cremations, distancing, quarantine rules, Wakes
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