Lapu vendors, tomb cleaners decry dwindling profit due to pandemic
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines — Residents living near the Humay-Humay Roman Catholic Cemetery in Barangay Pajo, whose livelihood was dependent on the cemetery, continue to experience difficulties due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and quarantine restrictions imposed by the government.
Joel Tenebroso, 28-years old, who cleans burial niches/tombs, said that before the pandemic, his income in a day would range from P1,000 to P2,000 during the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on November 1 and 2, respectively.
But since the pandemic struck early last year, his average daily income is now only P300 per day.
The decrease is due to the quarantine restrictions implemented, which control and limit the movement of the people who would visit their departed loved ones at the cemetery.
“Lisod gyud kaayo sir uy. Dili gyud pareha sa una nga wala pa’y pandemic,” Tenebroso said.
Currently, the Humay-Humay Roman Catholic Cemetery only accepts up to 1,200 visitors per day. Visitors were divided into 300 individuals every two hours.
The cemetery opens from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Rizalina Rosel, 32 years old, a flower and candle vendor outside the cemetery, said that she is hoping her flowers would be sold-out before the day ends.
This is because, on Friday, October 29, 2021, all cemeteries in the city will be temporarily closed until November 2, 2021.
She said that they also observed an increase in the prices of flowers from the local markets.
“Sauna kaning buwak nga naa sa gamay nga baso, mabaligya ra namo ug P10 pero karon P20 na. Ang dagko nga baso tag P50, pero sauna P30 rana. Samtang kaning naa sa basket tag P100, pero sauna P50 rana,” Rosel said.
Her candles were also sold from P2 to P10 per piece. /rcg
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