Looking forward to seeing family and friends at the cemetery this All Saints’ Day? If you live in Manila, that’s not going to happen because Mayor Isko Moreno declared yesterday that all cemeteries will be closed from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3.
In a statement, Moreno said that the shutdown was made legal by Executive Order No. 38, which he signed.
“I’m doing this now to give you about two months to visit your loved ones who are buried in private and public cemeteries. Forgive me if you are hurt by not seeing your loved ones during those dates,” he explained.
“I am asking for your understanding. This is also for your safety,” the mayor said.
Manila, like the rest of the National Capital Region, is under the general community quarantine, which prohibits mass gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Filipinos celebrate All Saints’ Day by visiting the tombs of their dead relatives, and these occasions usually serve as reunion parties with other family members and friends. Such gatherings often attract thousands of people in cemeteries, who often leave tons of trash behind.
The Philippines has the most number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia, with 241,987 cases, including 185,178 recoveries and 3,916 deaths.
This article, Isko Moreno shuts Manila cemeteries from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.