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Cemeteries, columbaries closed from Oct 29-Nov 2

By Jason B. Neola

The Naga City government has decided to close all cemeteries and columbaries in the city tomorrow, Oct. 29 until Nov. 2 to prevent the mass gathering of people.

The closure of cemeteries was based on the instruction of the national Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) to local government units (LGUs) to avoid the gathering of large number of people during All Saints Day and All Souls Day traditionally observed on Nov. 1 and 2.

All Souls’ Day is a day of prayer and remembrance for the souls of those who have died while All Saints’ Day, also known as the Feast of All Saints, is a Christian solemnity celebrated in honor of all the saints of the church.

The restriction on public access to cemeteries, memorial parks and columbaria, which is going to be implemented nationwide, is issued by IATF to complement the efforts exerted by the national government and LGUs in controlling the spread of Covid-19.

REMEMBERING THE DEPARTED A couple visit the remains of their loved one in anticipation of the restriction on visit to cemeteries from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 to prevent mass gathering of people. This is the second since the Covid-19 pandemic started in 2020 that this precautionary measure is implemented. -JBN/REYBAYLON/CEPPIO

As early as Oct. 26, the city government has already posted a notice of closure on entrance and exit gates of graveyards.

The notice also said that only burial activities inside the cemeteries shall be allowed within the said period and that the attendees, who must follow minimum health protocols, are immediate family of the departed of which the number will not exceed to 30, based on an executive order (EO) issued by Mayor Nelson Legacion.

Legacion’s EO also echoed IATF’s rule on visitation to the cemeteries once the restriction is lifted. It said the public may visit their departed ones from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM of the same day for two hours and the number of individuals per visit is limited only to three;

The entire cemetery should also be limited to 30 percent venue capacity and the public must follow minimum health protocols. Only persons whose age ranges from 18 to 59 years old will be allowed in the cemeteries. Senior citizens and women who are pregnant shall only be allowed in the cemeteries on condition that they are fully vaccinated.

The order further said that Holy Mass may be celebrated inside the cemetery provided that it shall be live streamed.

Other prohibited acts and activities are inside the cemeteries include: bringing, selling, and drinking of liquor and eating any kind of food stuff, selling of flowers and candles, playing card games or engaging in any form of gambling, noise and loud sounds, and the conduct of any Halloween activity.

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