To prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno announced that all cemeteries in the City of Manila will be closed for Undas or All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day. According to Executive Order No. 33, all Manila public and private cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaries will be closed to the public from October 29 to November 3.
This order includes some of the most visited public cemeteries in Metro Manila: Manila North Cemetery, Manila South Cemetery, and Manila Muslim Cemetery. “Only interment and cremation services for non-COVID 19 cases shall be allowed subject to the strict observance of minimum public health standards and social distancing,” the order stated. (Read: Here’s the True Meaning of ‘Undas,’ According to Pope Francis)
The mandate was put in place to avoid crowding of large numbers of people, especially since Undas is a reunion of sorts for Filipino families nationwide. Mass gatherings like this increases the likelihood of spreading or contracting COVID-19, which the country is still combating after more than one and a half years.
“The Directors of the Manila Cemeteries, with the assistance of the Manila Police District, the Manila Health Department, the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, and the Department of Public Services are directed to ensure compliance and implementation of this Order,” the order further added. (Read: 3 Ways to Observe Undas Amid Quarantine Restrictions)
Failure to comply with “Yorme” Isko’s executive order will result to revocation of business permits.
Undas 2020 also saw the closure of all public and private cemeteries in the National Capital Region (NCR), as agreed upon by all Metro Manila mayors and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). These establishments were closed from October 29 to November 4.