Metro Manila mayors recommend closure of cemeteries during traditional visiting days
THE METRO Manila Council, composed of the 17 mayors in the country’s capital, has recommended the closure of all public and private cemeteries during the traditional visiting period of November 1 and 2. The recommendation will be presented to the national task force that issues policies and measures on the coronavirus response. In a press conference Monday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jose Arturo S. Garcia, Jr. said the mayors of the 16 cities and one municipality also agreed to let the task force decide on the closure period, which they initially proposed to be for one week from October 28 to Nov. 4. “We will let the IATF (Inter-agency Task Force) decide on their preferred date of closure of cemeteries during the All Saints Day holidays,” Mr. Garcia said.
Last week, the mayor of Manila City, Francisco M. Domagoso, was the first to issue an order closing cemeteries within his jurisdiction from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 to avoid the usual large crowds during the observance of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day. San Juan City Mayor Francisco Javier M. Zamora followed suit. There are at least 15 major public and private cemeteries in Metro Manila. Several other local government chiefs outside Metro Manila have issued similar closure orders, including Angeles City Mayor Carmelo G. Lazatin, Jr. and Cebu City Mayor Edgardo C. Labella.