Metro Manila mayors have agreed to close down cemeteries in their respective areas from October 29 to November 2, 2021 to help control the spread of Covid-19, Chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on Tuesday.
In a press briefing, Abalos said that a resolution “Urging Local Government Units of Metro Manila to Enact Ordinances and/or Adopt Resolutions Restricting the Access to Public and Private Cemeteries, Memorial Parks, and Columbaria for a Period of Five (5) Days Starting on 29 October 2021 up to 02 November 2021” was signed by the Metro Manila Council (MMC) on October 10.
The MMC, composed of the 17 local government units of Metro Manila, is the governing body and policy-making body of the MMDA.
The resolution noted that on October 10, 2021, the Department of Health (DOH) reported a general decrease in Covid-19 active cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) on account of rapid and efficient detect and isolate strategies and enhanced vaccination efforts, among others.
“The DOH nonetheless cautioned the public against mass gatherings and encouraged the continued observance and enforcement of Covid-19 protocols and minimum public health standards in order to avoid a future rise in active cases,” the resolution said.
Undas or All Saints’ Day, observed nationwide on November 1 is a Filipino tradition wherein families gather in public and private cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria with family and friends to honor, remember, and pay homage to the dearly departed.
” Whereas, in order to avoid mass gatherings during Undas and thereby complement the efforts exerted by the Metro Manila Mayors in controlling the spread of Covid-19 in the National Capital Region, it is encouraged that individuals visit the public and private cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria on dates earlier than 29 October 29, 2021 or later than November 2, 2021 subject to the prescribed 30 percent venue capacity thereof,” the resolution added.
As for the conduct of wakes, necrological services, funerals, interment, cremation, and inurnment during this five-day period, Abalos said the prescribed guidelines by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases shall govern.