Lucena cemeteries close again around ‘Undas’
LUCENA CITY––For the second time since the pandemic started in March last year, all cemeteries in this city will be closed from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 or around “Undas” to prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly the highly transmissible Delta variant.
The city public information office, citing an order from local government administrator Anacleto Alcala Jr. announced Tuesday on social media that all cemeteries in the locality would be off-limits to the public.
The order aims to prevent mass gathering in cemeteries during All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2).
Lucena, the capital of Quezon province, has three public and four private cemeteries.
Authorities encourage residents to visit the tombs and burial grounds of their loved ones before and after the closure period.
The closure of the burial grounds for the second year was met with despair by residents around the cemeteries who depend on the annual throngs to earn extra income.
“My entire family usually earns P5,000 to P7,000 every year. But last year, we barely earned P2,000,” Tomas Sereno, 62, disclosed.
Sereno and his wife usually earned by cleaning graves, while his three children by “painting and lettering” tombs and epitaphs.
Sereno, a part-time construction worker, has appealed to the local government and politicians to assist them with their lost income.
“We will accept anything as long as it can help us,” he said.
But despite the lost opportunity for an extra income, Sereno praised the decision of the local government to close the cemeteries.
“With maddening crowd during Undas, it will become a super-spreader event for COVID-19,” Sereno said.
As of Oct. 19, the city had 417 active COVID-19 cases.
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