BACOLOD City Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran urged the General Services Office (GSO) and the management of private cemeteries in the city to impose visiting hours before October 29 or after November 4 to ensure the observance of health protocols.
Familiaran, chairman of Bacolod City Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), said Friday, October 23, that it is expected that before October 29 or after November 4, visitors will flock to the cemeteries, both public and private cemeteries, to offer prayers for their departed loved ones.
He said all public and private cemeteries will be temporarily closed from October 29 to November 4, 2020 per the IATF Resolution 72 Series of 2020 and Executive Order 61, Series of 2020.
"We should be prepared for the possible influx of visitors before October 29 or after November 4. We should ensure the observance of social distancing and wearing of face mask," he added.
Familiaran noted that the GSO was tasked to supervise all the public cemeteries in the city during All Souls' Day and All Saints' Day.
The enforcement team unit and police personnel will also be deployed to various cemeteries to monitor the areas.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia earlier ordered the temporary closure of cemeteries, memorial parks, columbaria and the like from October 29 to November 4, 2020, to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Leonardia said the IATF-Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (MEID) issued Resolution 72 to prevent mass gatherings during the annual celebration of "Undas" (respect for the dead), and other related regulations as preventive measures against the further spread of Covid-19.
He said presidential directives, orders and prerogatives are still in effect amid the Covid-19 public health emergency.
"[Undas], which is occasioned by crowding of people, will transgress the current national and local public policy on the strict prohibition against mass gatherings that can cause the unwarranted spread of Covid-19 infection," he added.
Leonardia said the promotion of health, protection and safety of the community, and preservation of life are among his priorities.