An environmental group lauded the closure of cemeteries on All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day as it cited its benefits both as a preventive measure against COVID-19 as well as the accumulation of garbage.
According to Rodney Galicha, Living Laudato Si Philippines executive director, the closure of cemeteries will not only help keep people safe from the virus. “It also has ecological benefits,” Galicha said over Radio Veritas.
“When people are discouraged from crowding in cemeteries, there will definitely be less garbage, most of which are actually wastes from the food that we bring, candle wrappers, and the usual stuff that we bring with us when we visit the graves of our loved ones,” he added.
“Remembering and offering prayers for our departed loved ones, the essence of the annual tradition, may be done at home this year because of the pandemic,” Galicha said.
As a safety precaution, all cemeteries and columbaria around the country will be closed from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4 this year to avoid crowds in cemeteries. Instead, the public is advised to visit another time or better yet, to just offer their prayers for their departed loved ones at home.
Tons of garbage are usually collected from cemeteries every year during the observance of Undas despite the provisions of waste baskets and the repeated requests made by authorities for visitors not to litter.