PNP Chief tells public: Visit cemeteries in advance to avoid 'Undas' rush

Police Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) urged the public to go to cemeteries, memorial parks, or columbaria ahead of the All Saints' Day and All Soul's Day on Nov. 1 and 2 to avoid the influx of people.

PNP Chief Police Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. inspects contrabands that were confiscated in a cemetery in Metro Manila on Oct. 28, 2022. (Photo by PNP)

Azurin said the public may consider going to their departed loved ones this coming weekend instead of next week to keep away from the crowd.

"This coming Saturday, Sunday and Monday are the best days to consider when planning to visit cemeteries, memorial parks, columbaria and other holiday places of convergence to avoid crowding,” Azurin said in an interview at the Manila North Cemetery on Friday, Oct. 28.

The PNP Chief made inspection sorties to different cemeteries across Metro Manila as well as to mass transportation terminals hosting land, air and sea travel to ensure the safety of the traveling public ahead of Undas. Among them include Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), and NorthPort Passenger Terminal.

Police officers were instructed by Azurin to deploy 85 percent of their total force on the field, particularly in Metro Manila, for public safety and law enforcement duties. Millions of people traditionally go to cemeteries in the capital region to visit their dearly departed on November 1 and 2.

"We really need to observe the health protocols being implemented by the IATF to avoid the spread of Covid-19 because we still have cases," he said.

Azurin also reminded the public to be mindful of operating hours, traffic routes, weather condition, and other environmental and situational factors when planning for different activities.

He advised the people to refrain from bringing sharp objects, liquor, cigarette, illegal drugs and other prohibited items in cemeteries.

“Plan your drive and drive your plan,” said Azurin, adding that motorists traveling to the provinces should take extra precaution especially in areas under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal due to Typhoon “Paeng”.

Meanwhile, Azurin said there was no security threat monitored so far in relation to the observation of Undas.

"So far, so good. All deployments are in place according to our security plan tailored on the situations expected," he noted.