Mandaluyong City Mayor Carmelita Abalos signed on Thursday an executive order directing all public and private cemeteries and columbaries in the city to close from October 31 until November 3.
"This is to prevent crowding of people in these places to visit their departed loved ones,” the mayor said.
“This has long been the tradition but we have to ensure that social distancing protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is followed at all times for the safety of everyone,” she added.
The temporary closure covers the Garden of Life, San Felipe Neri Roman Catholic and Paradise cemeteries.
Instead of going to cemeteries, Abalos urged families to bring home the urns of their dead relatives in commemorating this year’s All Souls’ and All Saints’ Days.
In a statement, the local government allowed residents to take out urns from the columbary of the Garden of Life cemetery seven days before November 1 and return it after seven days.
The city government said this has become the practice of many residents who want to avoid big crowds during All Soul’s day and celebrate the occasion in the comfort of their homes.