Metro Manila cemeteries closed from October 29 to November 4

People light candles on tombstones on All Saints’ Day at Barangka public cemetery in Metro Manila, Philippines November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Dondi Tawatao

Metro Manila mayors have all agreed to temporarily close all cemeteries and columbariums from October 29-November 4 in order to prevent mass gatherings and the spread of COVID-19  during the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

In an interview, Parañaque mayor and Metro Manila Council (MMC) chairperson Edwin Olivarez said the policy was agreed upon by the mayors and eight Cabinet secretaries during a meeting on Sunday.

“Ang pinagpulungan kahapon ay magkaroon ng uniform na policy sa darating na Undas. Iko-close ‘yung ating mga cemetery, public and private, mula po ng October 29 hanggang November 4,” he said, adding that the policy only includes visits, not burials and cremations.

Olivarez noted that Manila will adjust and follow the region’s schedule following the earlier announcement of Mayor Isko Moreno.

READ: Manila Mayor Isko orders temporary closure of Manila cemeteries during Undas

Policemen, marshals, and barangay officers will watch over cemeteries to ensure that health protocols are followed, Olivarez added.

Vendors will be allowed around cemeteries before the closure while drinking liquor and gambling in the area will still be banned.

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