MAYOR Isko Moreno yesterday thanked the public, specially residents of Manila, for heeding his call for them to visit their departed loved ones early or for them to begin cleaning their tombs, in view of the closure of the public and private final resting places in Manila from October 31 to November 3, with a strict reminder that all health protocols will still be followed to the letter.
Moreno’s pronouncement came after learning from the administrators of the two city-run cemeteries, Yayay Castaneda of the Manila North Cemetery (MNC) and Jess Payad of the Manila South Cemetery (MSC) , that visitors have began visiting their loved ones and sprucing up the tombs way ahead of the usual All Saints’Day and All Souls’ Day.
The mayor reminded the visitors, which he said also include non-Manilans, that all health protocols required by government will be strictly enforced among those just paying a visit and even those who will go there to bury their dead. These include temperature checks, wearing of face masks and face shields, physical distancing and the barring of senior citizens and those below 20 years old.
Moreno also said that the usual prohibitions apply, such as the bringing in of deadly weapons, intoxicating beverages, gambling paraphernalia and loud speakers among others.
Castaneda said that up to October 30, the MNC, which is the biggest cemetery in the country, is open for visitors and interment, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Sunday. No vehicles and vendors are allowed to enter the MNC.
For interment, she said only the funeral car will be allowed entry and a maximum of 30 persons may attend.
Payad, on the other hand, said that the MSC is open daily, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. also the whole week.
It will be recalled that Moreno ordered all private and public cemeteries and columbariums in the city closed from October 31 to November 3 to do away with crowd surges marking the observance of ‘Undas’ every year, noting how this will pave the way for the possible transmission of the coronavirus.
Other cities and municipalities have since followed suit.