Labella on order to close cemeteries for Undas: ‘It is for the safety of the public’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella suggests that those who plan to visit their departed loved ones on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day this year should do it either before October 30, 2020 or after November 3, 2020.
Mayor Labella ordered that all cemeteries in the city, whether public or private, be closed from October 30 to November 3, 2020.
The mayor said this is done for the safety of the public since a gathering of this magnitude may cause another spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city.
“This is for the safety of the public because millions flock the cemeteries on Undas. We cannot risk the spread of the COVID-19,” Labella said.
An average of two million people visit the 23 cemeteries in the city on All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day yearly.
“In Carreta alone, there are 100,000 plus tombs. Millions of people will flock the cemeteries and the police will have to check each one of them not only for the health but also for contrabands like bladed weapons and liquor,” he said.
With this development, the mayor had a few suggestions for those who want to pay their respects to the dead.
“I suggest they visit the cemetery on the weekends or even weekdays before or after “Undas.” That is why we allowed people to go out half days on Sundays based on their QR pass schedule. They can take this time to visit their late loved ones,” said the mayor.
The mayor also urged the public to pray for the souls of their late loved ones from home. He said during this time of pandemic, it is best that people remember and visit the tombs of their late loved ones not only during Undas but also for the entire year.
The health of the public is of the utmost priority for now, and Labella said certain traditions such as Undas may have to be forgone to keep residents safe.
The mayor said that if a vaccine or medicine against COVID-19 will surface before November, then there may be reconsiderations to the order of the closure of cemeteries. But since this is more unlikely, the public will have to comply with his order for now.
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