Undas is going to be very different this year due to COVID-19
Major cities have announced temporary cemetery closures during Undas to curb the spread of COVID-19
Sep 10, 2020
UPDATE: Additional guidelines regarding wakes, burials and cremations during the Undas period have been given by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Metro Manila Council (MMC).
Another important Filipino tradition that COVID-19 has managed to disrupt is the observance of Undas.
A few days after Manila City mayor Fransisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso announced the temporary closure of all public and private cemeteries in the city from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3, it seems that more cities are following suit.
BREAKING: Manila City Mayor @IskoMoreno orders the temporary closure of all public and private cemeteries in the nation’s capital from October 31 to November 3 to prevent mass gatherings during Undas. —JNL#AlertoManileno #COVID19PH pic.twitter.com/LZsQkGE8Ul
— Manila Public Information Office (@ManilaPIO) September 8, 2020
The city of Mandaluyong has also announced the closure of all cemeteries to curb the potential spread of COVID-19. In a text message to the city’s legal department, Mayor Menchie Abalos also directed the crafting of an executive order to shut down all the cemeteries and columbaries in the city.
San Juan City mayor Francis Zamora issued Executive Order No. 49 that dictates the temporary closure of local cemeteries and the suspension of halloween activities to avoid mass gatherings that may further spread the virus.
Other cities that have also announced temporary cemetery closures are Angeles City and Cebu City. According to Cebu City mayor Edgar Labella, these cemetery closures are to ensure public safety. In a statement, Mayor Labella declared, “This is for the safety of the public because millions flock the cemeteries on Undas. We cannot risk the spread of COVID-19.”
EYES HERE: All cemeteries in Cebu City will be closed starting October 30 to November 3, 2020, to avoid to gathering of people amid the COVID-19 pandemic. via @dletigioCDN #CDNDigital pic.twitter.com/xURghoyhuM
— CDN Digital (@cebudailynews) September 10, 2020
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) have released a statement regarding wakes, interments and cremations. In a press briefing, MMDA’s general manager, Jojo Garcia stated, “Gates [to cemeteries, memorial parks and columbariums] will be padlocked during the one-week closure, but these events will still be allowed since we only want to prevent people from entering on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.”
Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez, who also chairs the Metro Manila Council also stated that cremations and burials are permitted during the cemetery closure.
Although Undas may be an important Filipino observance, we can’t help but agree that it might be best to stay home this year.
Header image courtesy of Inquirer.net
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