Fresnedi signs ordinance restricting access to Muntinlupa cemeteries during ‘Undas’

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi signed on Wednesday, Oct. 20, an ordinance restricting the public’s access to cemeteries on “Undas” (All Saints’ Day).

Under Ordinance 2021-279, known as Restriction in Undas Celebration (RUC), all memorial parks, cemeteries, ossuaries and columbaria in Muntinlupa will be closed from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2.

San Nicolas de Tolentino Cemetery in Barangay Buli, Muntinlupa in 2020 (Muntinlupa police)

“The management/owner administrators of public and private memorial parks, cemeteries, ossuaries, and columbarium shall be imposed a Five Hundred Pesos (P500) fine for every individual who will enter the premises during the period of restriction,” according to the ordinance.

Employees and caretakers of the said places who will be working during the period of restriction are exempted from the fine.

The Muntinlupa City government is urging the public to visit memorial parks, cemeteries, ossuaries, and columbaria outside of the restriction period.

According to the ordinance, “Undas is a traditional Filipino holiday where family and friends reunite in cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria to celebrate the memory of departed loved ones.”

However, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) issued Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Resolution 21-22 urging local government units in Metro Manila to enact ordinances or pass resolutions restricting access of the public to cemeteries from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 “to avoid mass gatherings and thereby complement the efforts exerted by the Metro Manila Mayors in controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the National Capital Region (NCR).”

“Although the Department of Health (DOH) reported a general decrease in COVID-19 active cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) on account of rapid and efficient detect and isolate strategies and enhanced vaccination efforts, nonetheless, avoiding mass gatherings and continued practice of safety and health protocols is encouraged to avoid a future rise in active cases,” the ordinance added.

The ordinance designated the Muntinlupa Public Order and Safety Office, in coordination with barangays, as primarily responsible in the implementation of the measure.