Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte has ordered the closure of cemeteries and columbariums for seven days from October 29 to November 4, 2020, in the observance of All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day.
Mayor Sara’s Executive Order No. 52 issued on Wednesday, September 23, also set rules for implementation during burial and wakes of dead loved ones.
The early issuance of Executive Order No. 52 would give Dabawenyos enough time to plan for their early visits to their dead loved ones before or after the closure dates.
“They can visit their loved ones anytime before October 29 and after November 4 to avoid mass gathering,” Mayor Sara said.
She also advised people not to visit on peak days, especially during weekends to avoid crowding.
The EO, however, exempts groups who will bury their family members and those celebrating the birthday and death anniversary of their deceased loved ones during the dates of closure.
While inside the cemeteries, the 24-hour liquor ban is implemented and effective until a state of calamity is lifted.
The vulnerable sector or those who are above 60 years old, below 21, immunocompromised, with health risk or pregnant women are allowed to visit or attend the wake and burial of their family members but are not allowed to do so for non-family members.
EO 52 also regulates the operation of funeral parlors, cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbariums by: 1) implementing “Family Members Only” policy during wake and burial, 2) the family in charge of the wake and burial must ensure no mass gathering among the family members and health protocols such as wearing face masks, physical distancing, and put in place hand sanitizing or alcohol-based hand rub, 3) family members present should not exceed 50% of the room where the casket is located, and 4) the family must also keep a record of the date and time of the visit of all family members for contact tracing.
The mayor’s EO came a week after the National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases issued Resolution No. 72 ordering the closure of public and private cemeteries and columbariums all over the country on the said dates to avoid crowding during All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day.