Mayor Sara Z. Duterte has issued Executive Order 52 that set rules for implementation during burials and wakes while observing the commemoration of “Undas” or All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day.
In a statement Thursday, the city government said the new guidelines are on top of an earlier directive ordering the closure of cemeteries and columbariums for seven days during the “Undas” period from October 29 to November 4.
EO 52 seeks to provide Dabawenyos enough time to plan their early visits to their departed loved ones before or after the closure dates for cemeteries.
The directive came a week after the National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases ((IATF-EID) issued Resolution No. 72, ordering the closure of public and private cemeteries and columbariums all over the country during “Undas” to avoid mass gathering.
The IATF resolution also set the visitor capacity of cemeteries to 30 percent from September 17 to November 15, although it exempts people who will bury their family members and those celebrating the birthday and death anniversary of their deceased loved ones during the closure period.
Mayor Sara’s EO 52, meanwhile, regulates the operation of funeral parlors, cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbariums by implementing the “family members only” policy during wake and burial.
The family in charge of the wake and burial, the order said, must ensure no mass gathering among the family members and health protocols such as wearing face masks, physical distancing, and providing hand sanitizers or alcohol-based hand rub.
Likewise, family members present should not exceed 50 percent of the room capacity where the casket is located and the family must also keep a record of the date and time of the visit of all family members for contact tracing.
“They can visit their loved ones anytime before October 29 and after November 4 to avoid mass gathering,” Mayor Sara said.
She also advised Dabawenyos not to visit on peak days, especially during weekends to avoid crowding.
Duterte also reiterated that while inside the cemeteries, the 24-hour liquor ban remains in force until the health emergency is lifted. (PNA)