MMDA chief urges public to schedule cemetery visit


Chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has encouraged the public to schedule their visits to their departed loved ones before the closure of cemeteries to avoid crowding that may cause the possible spread of Covid-19.

“And ensure the health and safety of everyone,” Abalos said as he conducted an inspection of cemeteries in Metro Manila two days before its closure for this year’s observance of “Undas.”

The MMDA, through MMDA Resolution 21-22, Series of 2021, have asked the local government units to enact ordinances or adopt resolutions closing cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria from the public starting October 29 up to November 2.

Abalos visited Manila North Cemetery in Manila and Garden of Life Park in Mandaluyong to check their compliance with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) guidelines on the closure of cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria to minimize risk of Covid-19 transmission.

“All of the cemeteries in the National Capital Region are well-prepared and the influx of people has spread out as they visit their departed loved ones this early,” Abalos said.

The authorities have installed Police Assistance Desks and deployed roving teams around cemeteries to ensure that the 30 percent limited capacity is being observed.
Abalos also said that the MMDA has deployed additional manpower, in joint coordination with the local government units and the police, to assist in the cemeteries and to man the traffic within its vicinity.

He also expressed his gratitude to the Metro Manila mayors for their initiatives to help keep the cemeteries within their jurisdiction compliant to the guidelines of the IATF.

“While it is important to abide by the guidelines set by the IATF and to observe minimum health protocols, it is likewise significant to practice self-discipline to ensure that we will have an Undas that is safe from the Covid-19 virus,” he added.

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