BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia has ordered the temporary closure of public and private cemeteries, and memorial parks from October 30 to November 2.
The order is contained in Executive Order No. 50 issued by Leonardia on October 15 to enhance public health and safety protocols during the “Undas Season” in Bacolod City.
The order said that in consideration of familial, cultural and religious need of Filipinos to pay respect to their departed loved ones during the 2021 observance of Undas, visitor capacity in all public and private cemeteries, memorial parks, columbaria and the like in Bacolod City, will be increased to a maximum of 30 percent of the venue capacity at any given time from Oct. 15 until Nov. 15 but that such facilities will be temporarily closed to visitors from Oct. 30 until Nov. 2.
However, during the days of temporary closure from Oct. 30 until Nov. 2, interment or burial services should still be allowed with the stringent observance of wearing of face masks and face shields and physical distancing, it said.
The 30 percent maximum occupancy restriction, however, will not apply during such interment services from October 30 until November 2, because these places/facilities are temporarily closed on these inclusive dates to visitors, thus only the immediate family members of the deceased will be allowed to attend the interment services that may be held anytime during those days, it added.
The order said business owners/proprietors and/or operators of private or public cemeteries/memorial parks/ columbaria and the like, are required to implement strictly measures in limiting the influx and crowding of people visiting their respective cemeteries in the days prior to or after the temporary closure days; ensure that no visitors will stay overnight in the cemeteries; and to allow priests and ministers to bless the graves during the temporary closure days from October 30 to November 2.
Age restrictions should not apply to visitors in cemeteries during the “Undas Season,” it said.
The Executive Order should be implemented by lawful authorities and complied by the constituents of Bacolod City under pain of administrative and/or criminal sanctions under the applicable civil service laws, special laws, City Ordinance/s, and/or the Revised Penal Code, it added.*