Undas 'orderly' so far-A A +A
Thursday, November 1, 2012
MANILA -- Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome inspected Thursday the condition and the state of security at the Manila South Cemetery where about 35,000 people have converged as of 11 a.m. according to radio report.
Accompanied by Metro Manila police chief Leonardo Espina, Bartolome said the observation of All Saints' Day nationwide has been orderly so far.
On Wednesday, Bartolome and Espina earlier inspected cemeteries and bus terminals in Metro Manila and gave a similar assessment regarding the security measures being enforced.
The PNP will remain on full alert during the long weekend that follows the All Saints' Day commemoration.
As directed by Bartolome, the country's primary law enforcement agency has intensified its operations to ensure public safety and order during the holidays.
The PNP has set up road assistance hubs and centers and deployed route safety marshals in major thoroughfares and strategic areas near cemeteries and other public places.
Police visibility and patrol operations have also been stepped up in the field particularly among residential and convergence areas such as churches, malls, and terminals to thwart criminal elements and activities.
Meanwhile, the number of visitors inside the largest cemetery in the metropolis, the Manila North Cemetery (MNC), has swollen to nearly a million as Filipinos pay respect to their departed loved ones today, November 1.
According to the police, approximately 200 visitors are entering the MNC every minute and about 900,000 people are already inside the MNC as of Thursday noon, radio reports said.
Authorities have imposed tight security measures with at least 200 policemen, excluding the so-called force multipliers, deployed in the MNC.
Separate entrances are designated for men and women who will be subjected to strict inspections before entering the cemetery.
Just like in any other cemetery, MNC visitors are advised not to bring items that are banned inside such as sharp items like metal utensils, bladed weapons and firearms, liquor, illegal drugs, pets, playing cards and gambling paraphernalia, paint thinner, lighters, belts with large buckles, and loud sound systems among others.
Visitors could however retrieve their confiscated items when they leave the MNC.
Authorities and the MNC management are also encouraging visitors who will be bringing their children to let the young ones wear name tags with contact information as this would be helpful if ever they get lost inside the cemetery.
Various assistance booths have also been set up by the authorities to serve the public. Health desks manned by 20 doctors and nurses and paging systems have been installed.
Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim said three ambulances will be on standby at the MNC to attend to possible emergency cases, in addition to other preparatory measures already undertaken by cemetery directors Eddie Noriega.
Wheelchairs will also be on standby to ferry people with disabilities or senior citizens who will be assisted by volunteers.
The 54-hectare MNC, which is located next to the La Loma Cemetery and the Manila Chinese Cemetery, is considered the biggest and one of the oldest cemeteries in Metro Manila.
Renowned figures are interred in the MNC including three Philippine presidents—Manuel A. Roxas, Sergio Osmeña, and Ramon Magsaysay. Among the other prominent personalities laid to rest here are Claro M. Recto, Felix Resurrecion Hidalgo, Fernando Poe Jr., Jose Corazon de Jesus, and Ma. Atang dela Rama.
Anticipating the influx of people who would visit the graves of their departed loved ones and of these prominent individuals, the Manila city government have re-routed the traffic on some roads near the MNC.
Closed to traffic are parts of Aurora Boulevard from Dimasalang to Rizal Avenue; Blumentritt from A. Bonifacio to P. Guevarra; Retiro from Dimasalang to Blumentritt Extension; P. Guevarra from Cavite to Pampanga Streets; and Leonor Rivera from Cavite to Aurora Boulevard.
For commuters going to the MNC, public utility jeepneys (PUJs) coming from Rizal Avenue/Blumentritt are advised to take Cavite and turn right on L. Rivera. They could also turn right on Isagani and turn right on Antipolo to point of destination.
The PUJs coming from Amoranto Street in Quezon City shall turn right on Cavite and right on Bonifacio. Those coming from Dimasalang shall turn right on Makiling and right on Maceda to point of destination. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)