Muntinlupa passes ordinance banning visits to cemeteries on ‘Undas’

Published October 19, 2021, 1:29 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

The Muntinlupa City Council on Monday passed an ordinance banning visits to cemeteries on All Saints’ Day or “Undas.”

Under the ordinance, visits to cemeteries, memorial parks and columbaria in Muntinlupa are banned from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 and violations will be penalized.

Everest Hills Memorial Park in Muntinlupa (Criselda Galenzoga)

This is in compliance with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Resolution 21-22 that was approved by Metro Manila mayors last Oct. 10 about the ban.

In the MMDA resolution, the Metro Manila Council (MMC), composed of mayors, 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.”

“As for the conduct of wakes, necrological services, funerals, interment, cremation, and inurnment during this five-day period, the prescribed guidelines by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases shall govern,” the resolution added.

The Metro Manila mayors stated in the resolution that “Undas or All Saints’ Day will be observed nationwide on 01 November 2021 where Filipinos traditionally gather in public and private cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria with family and friends to honor, remember, and pay homage to the dearly departed.”

While the mayors stated that the Department of Health reported a decrease in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the National Capital Region, the agency “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.”

The closure of cemeteries and memorials parks to the public from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 is meant “ to avoid mass gatherings during Undas and thereby complement the efforts exerted by the Metro Manila Mayors in controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the National Capital Region.”

People are encouraged to visit the places before and after the ban. A maximum venue capacity of 30 percent will be implemented.

Last year, Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi issued an executive order for the closure of cemeteries during Undas from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4, 2020 to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.