STRICTER measures will be in full force at the Manila North Cemetery (MNC) and the Manila South Cemetery (MSC) in the coming days leading to their temporary closure, to make sure that the required physical distancing and wearing of face masks are observed and that there will be no huge mass gatherings and crowd surges that could contribute to mass transmission of the coronavirus.
Thus said Mayor Isko Moreno, in preparation for the possibility that more visitors may be going to cemeteries as their temporary closure draws near, as he reiterated his earlier appeal to the public not to visit cemeteries at the last minute.
It was learned that based on a request made by Manila North Cemetery (MNC) director Yayay Castaneda, Moreno had directed the deployment of police and City Hall personnel to monitor the flow of visitors and ensure strict enforcement of required protocols under the pandemic.
Castaneda said the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO) headed by Arnel Angeles, Department of Public Services (DPS) chief Kenneth Amurao and Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) Director Dennis Viaje are also assisting in keeping the order in the MNC, which is the biggest in the country.
Stricter monitoring will be in place at the said cemeteries from October 15 to November 4, to include the days when the cemeteries will be closed to the public in order to avoid expected huge crowds.
Moreno, much early on, issued an order temporarily shutting down the MNC and the MSC headed by Jess Payad along with all other cemeteries and columbariums in the city, from October 31 to November 3. On September 23, the Department of Interior and Local Government issued a memo setting the period of closure of cemeteries and columbariums from October 29 to November 4.
The mayor said that while the city-run cemeteries will be closed on said days for visitors, he had directed Castaneda and Payad to make sure that funeral and cremation services will continue.
Moreno’s order aims to give the public enough time, or about two months, to visit the tombs of their departed loved ones, noting that millions go to the MNC and the MSC during ‘Undas.’
Castaneda said many have already spruced up, cleaned and visited the tombs of their dearly departed since Moreno issued the said order.