Pateros Mayor Miguel “Ike” Ponce III issued an executive order banning visits to all cemeteries, memorial parks and columbaria in the municipality on “Undas” (All Saints’ Day) due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Ponce signed Executive Order No. 31 to “restrict access of people in all public and private memorial parks, cemeteries and columbaria located in the Municipality of Pateros from October 29. 2021 to November 02. 2021.”
“The public is hereby encouraged to visit their departed loved ones gradually on dates prior to or after the dates of restriction subject to the 30% venue capacity of the private cemeteries, memorial parks and columbaria,” he said. This is the second consecutive year that Ponce banned visits to cemeteries due to the pandemic.
This after Ponce, a member of the Metro Manila Council (MMC), signed Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Resolution 21-22 dated Oct. 10, which urged “Local Government Units of Metro Manila to enact ordinances and/or adopt resolutions restricting the access to public and private cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria for a period of five (5) days starting on 29 October 2021 up to 02 November 2021.”
According to the mayor, “there is a general decrease in COVID-19 active cases in the National Capital Region on account of, among others, rapid and efficient detect and isolate strategies and enhanced vaccination efforts.”
“The DOH nonetheless cautioned the public against mass gatherings and encouraged the continued observance and enforcement of COVID-19 protocols and minimum public health standards in order to avoid a future rise in active cases,” he added.
He said that “in order to sustain the municipality’s efforts in containing the spread of COVID-19 virus, there is a compelling need to avoid the influx of people in memorial parks, cemeteries and columbaria immediately before, during and after All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.”
Ponce ordered the Pateros police, municipal health office, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) and volunteer organizations to implement the order.