UNDAS 2022: Health and safety protocols to observe for a safe and peaceful celebration
October 24, 2022
Photo: Philippine News Agency
For the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way Filipinos follow the traditions they have grown accustomed to. One of these is the observance of Undas.
Undas is regarded not only as a day to remember the dearly departed in a solemn manner but for many, it is a day of feasting and celebration. Families gather to enjoy food, music, and quality time together.
As we prepare to return to cemeteries to honor our loved ones this season, here are reminders issued by different Local Government Units (LGU) in the Metro to ensure a safe and peaceful All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day.
Manila Public Information Office said that vaccination cards must be presented upon entry to Manila North & South Cemetery premises which will be open from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting on October 29 until November 2.
The city government also reminded the public that bringing any type of vehicle, alcoholic beverages, flammable materials, firearms and any sharp objects, loud sound system, and gambling are strictly prohibited.
Only those who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to enter and must show their vaccine card before entering the cemetery. Cemetery schedule will be from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from October 29 to November 2.
Visitors are also encouraged to wear face masks, practice physical distancing, and follow other minimum health protocols in the area.
According to the city mayor, all cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaries will be open from October 31 to November 1 while visitation will only be allowed from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Senior citizens, immunocompromised individuals, and physically incapacitated individuals are encouraged to celebrate at home. Meanwhile, unvaccinated individuals and children ages 11 years old and below will not be allowed to enter the premises.
Alcoholic beverages, videoke or sound systems, sharp objects, flammable and explosive materials, firearms, and gambling will be prohibited. In addition to these, wearing of face masks and social distancing will be implemented.
The public will be allowed to visit the graves of their deceased relatives from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on October 29 to 30. Public and private cemeteries will be opened for 24 hours starting on October 31 to November 1.
The city government will implement one entrance and one exit policy. Carrying and consuming alcoholic beverages, littering, cooking, smoking, gambling, and bringing of flammable objects except for matches, illegal drugs, and sharp objects. It is likewise prohibited to carry illegal drugs, loud sound systems or instruments.
Visitors with body temperature higher than 38°C, coughs and colds, and any type of vehicle are likewise prohibited from entering the site.
The Pasay City government also prohibits people with fevers, coughs, and colds from entering the cemetery, as well as those who have not been vaccinated. It is also barred to bring alcoholic beverages, weapons, or loud speakers.
Visitors must wear masks, wash their hands, and practice physical distancing.
The Malabon City Health Office reminded residents to maintain social distancing during Undas and to wear face coverings. They are also prohibiting anyone from entering the cemeteries with pointed/bladed metals or weapons, firearms, explosives and firecrackers, illegal drugs, portable cooking stoves/LPGs, liquor and other intoxicating drinks, and loud speakers.
Citizens of Navotas City must first obtain a cemetery pass two days before their intended visit to the gravesite of their loved ones.
Residents must text their name, address, age, and cemetery, along with the date and time of visit, and await the city government’s response.
This will then be presented at the entrance along with their vaccination cards. The local government is also mandating the use of face masks and a one-to-two-meter physical distance.
Visitors are also asked not to bring children or elders to ensure their health and safety.
“The visitation hours at the cemetery have been extended and we will no longer check for vaccination cards. However, once the number of visitors reaches the 50% capacity of the cemetery, we will enforce the mandatory wearing of face masks. The police, members of the Public Order and Safety Office, and cemetery personnel will continuously monitor the situation on the ground to ensure the strict observance of the proper safety protocols,” the city mayor said in an interview.
It may be inevitable to beat the Undas season rush as it only happens once a year, being extra prepared and cautious can make all the difference. Like what they say, “Caution is the parent of safety.”
While this may be the most relaxed celebration that we will have in three years, the threat of COVID-19 is still looming. Remember to prioritize your health and safety from the time you plan to leave the house until you arrive at the cemetery and return home.
From all of us here at 96.3 Easy Rock Manila, we wish you all a meaningful and reposeful commemoration!