THOUSANDS continue to troop to different cemeteries across the country on Wednesday despite rains brought by Tropical Depression Ramil.
Filipinos visit the graves of their departed loved ones on November 1 and 2 as part of the observance of the All Saints' and All Souls' Day.
In Metro Manila, as of 11 a.m., at least 250,000 people visited entered the gates of the Manila North Cemetery; 6,000 at the Manila South Cemetery; and 2,500 at the La Loma Cemetery.
Manila Police District (MPD) spokesperson Erwin Margarejo said the crowds in the major cemeteries are fewer this year compared to the same period last year mainly due to the bad weather.
He said they are expecting the crowd in major cemeteries in the capital to increase in the afternoon, especially if the weather improves.
Margarejo said people started going to the cemeteries last weekend.
Eastern Police District (EPD) director Romulo Sapitula noted that fewer people visited the cemeteries within their area of responsibility.
At the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina, one of the largest private cemeteries in Marikina City, at least 6,800 people visited the graves of their dearly departed loved ones, lower than the 16,000 who visited the cemetery last year.
Southern Police District director Tomas Apolinario and National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) spokesperson Kim Molitas said no untoward incidents were reported in their areas of responsibility.
Molitas said they have confiscated items prohibited inside the cemeteries such as sharp and bladed objects, flammable items, playing cards and electronic devices such as speakers.
Molitas said there were reports of missing children but were easily addressed by policemen assigned in different areas.
She said senior citizens, persons with disability and pregnant women are being efficiently assisted by the personnel of the cemeteries, particularly at the Manila North and South Cemetery, as e-trikes and wheelchairs are prepared to cater them.
Molitas said over 14,000 combined security forces from the Philippine National Police, local government units, private sectors, and volunteers were fielded to ensure the maintenance of peace and order during the observance of the annual occasion.
Heavy rains flooded some cemeteries in other parts of the country preventing some families from getting near the tombs of their departed loved ones.
Flooded cemeteries were reported in cemeteries in Guinobatan, Albay; Bulacan; Koronadal City; and Tagbilaran City, Bohol. (SunStar Philippines)