Some LGUs want cemeteries to stay open for 2 days during Undas

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 22 2021 03:23 PM

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Some local officials are asking the national government to allow cemeteries to open for 2 days during the week of Undas, their representative said on Friday. 

The inter-agency task force on COVID-19 has ordered all cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria to close from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 to prevent coronavirus transmission. 

Filipinos traditionally crowd cemeteries during these dates to visit their departed loved ones.

"Iyong ibang LGU ay humihiling naman po na puwede rin daw buksan kahit po Oct. 30 and Oct. 31," said League of Provinces of the Philippines president and Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco Jr.

(Some LGUs are asking to open these on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31.)

When cemeteries were closed during these 2 dates last year, crowds flocked instead in the preceding weekend, he said in a televised public briefing. 

"Siguro po kaya nilang ipatupad iyong minimum health protocols at kanila pong mga regulasyon. Nasa IATF na po kung aaprubahan," he said. 

(Perhaps they can implement minimum health protocol and their regulations. It's up to the IATF if they will approve.) 

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria should limit accepting visitors at 30 percent of their capacity. 

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. 

Last year, cemeteries in Metro Manila were also closed during Undas as a precaution against COVID-19.

The Philippines has tallied some 2.7 million overall coronavirus infections, among the highest in Asia.