SAN ANTONIO, Nueva Ecija – Just like Manila and other cities in the metropolis, this first-class municipality is also closing its cemeteries and memorial parks for the annual All Saints’ Day observance as a preventive measure amid the continuing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Association of Barangay Captains president Rogelio T. Dionisio said they unanimously agreed in principle to adopt a proposal to temporarily close the cemeteries from October 29 to November 3.
The consensus was reached after the town’s 16 barangay captains met Mayor Arvin C. Salonga at his office on Wednesday to discuss preparations for the upcoming “Undas” season amid growing concerns over the implementation of social distancing protocols as a safety measure to contain the spread of the killer virus during the commemoration of the said annual Filipino tradition.
ABC president Dionisio, barangay chairman of Bgy. Papaya said the group will meet again on Friday to finalize the proposal and to submit to Mayor Salonga their formal written resolution.
During their meeting with Mayor Salonga, the barangay captains also discussed the proposed opening of all the town’s public and private cemeteries from October 15 until October 28 and to adopt a daily-scheduling system per barangay in visiting their departed loved ones at their graves to still be able to maintain social distancing among cemetery-goers.
In discussing these plans with the barangay chairmen, Mayor Salonga said he also wanted to have duty watchmen assigned in the cemeteries for 24 hours.
“Tutulong tayo sa pagdi-diseminate ng info thru social media tungkol sa oras at araw ng pagdalaw sa puntod sang-ayon sa ating bagong schedule upang magabayan ang mga dadalaw at hindi sila sabay-sabay pumunta sa sementeryo para sa ating social distancing,” said Salonga.
It was learned that the town has a total of 11 private and public cemeteries, including one Catholic cemetery.
Two are situated in Bgy. Sto. Cristo (one public and one private), two private cemeteries and one Catholic in Bgy. Poblacion, two in Bgy. San Francisco (one each for private and public), two cemeteries in Bgy. Sta. Barbara and one public cemetery each in Bgys. Cama Juan and Buliran.