ABOUT 80 police officers of the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) have been deployed to various cemeteries in Bacolod City Thursday, October 29, 2020, as all cemeteries in the country will be closed from October 29 to November 4 in light of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) threat.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Pico, spokesperson of BCPO, said they are now on full alert status and the policemen with their team leaders were deployed to nine private and four public cemeteries in the city.
“We should be aware that visitors are not allowed in cemeteries from October 29 to November 4, and this is for the safety of everybody to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” he added.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia earlier issued Executive Order No. 61 for 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 National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (NIATF-MEID) issued Resolution No. 72 to prevent mass gatherings during the annual celebration of “Undas” (respect for the dead), and other related regulations as preventive measures against 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.
The mayor said the promotion of health, protection and safety of the community, and preservation of life are among his priorities.
The NIATF resolution said from September 17 until November 15, visitor occupancy in all public and private cemeteries, memorial parks, columbaria and the like throughout the country will be increased to a maximum of 30 percent of the venue capacity. The 30 percent maximum occupancy restriction, however, does not apply from October 29 to November 4, as all places of the dead are mandated closed.
During the days of temporary closure, interment or burial services in Bacolod City will be allowed but must follow basic protocols like wearing face masks and face shields, and physical distancing. Only immediate family members of the deceased will be allowed to attend the services.
After the “Undas Season” ends on November 15, 2020, restrictions of the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine governing mass gatherings will be implemented corresponding to the community quarantine category then in operation.