MANILA — Metro Manila mayors agreed to close all cemeteries in the region during the observance of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day due to the coronavirus pandemic, their representative said Monday.
The mayors and 8 Cabinet secretaries agreed to the Oct. 29 to Nov. 4 closure of public and private cemeteries during a meeting on Sunday, said Metro Manila Council (MMC) chairperson Edwin Olivarez.
“Pinagkasunduan po [ito] para unified, iisang policy lang ang i-implement natin sa darating na Undas,” Olivarez, who is also mayor of Parañaque City, told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.
(We agreed on this so that the policy we implement would be unified in the coming Undas.)
Manila earlier announced a 4-day cemetery closure. The capital will adjust and follow the region’s schedule, he said.
Policemen and barangay officers will watch over cemeteries to ensure that health protocols are followed, said Olivarez.
Vendors will be allowed around cemeteries before the closure, he said.
Drinking liquor and gambling there are still banned, the mayor said.
Millions of Filipino Catholics typically offer prayers and flowers for their departed loved ones in cemeteries during the All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day holidays.
The Philippines has the highest number of total cases in Southeast Asia despite implementing the longest and strictest lockdown in the region.
The health department on Sunday confirmed 3,372 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday bringing the country’s total to 261,216.
---With a report from Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News