Public cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria in Bacolod City will be temporarily closed from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2, but priests and ministers will be allowed to bless the graves, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said in his Executive Order signed on Oct. 15.
Priests and ministers will be allowed to enter the cemeteries and memorial parks during the temporary closure days with each priest or minister accompanied by one assistant only, and all of them should strictly observe minimum health protocols, the executive order stated.
Interment and burial services in Bacolod will also be allowed during the temporary closure days with stringent observance of wearing of face masks and face shields, and physical distancing. Only the immediate family members of the deceased will be allowed to attend the services.
Leonardia also directed operators of the cemeteries and memorial parks to regulate the influx of visitors in the days prior to the temporary closure of the facilities and ensure that health protocols are observed.
While age restrictions will not be applied, the EO directs the operators of the cemeteries and memorial parks to impose the prevailing curfew hours and to ensure that no visitors will stay overnight at the facilities.
Members of the Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, traffic enforcers, barangay tanods and other force multipliers will assist in the maintenance of peace and order and the smooth flow of traffic, the EO stated.
Earlier, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson issued a similar EO for the temporary closure of public and private cemeteries and memorial parks in the province.
Lacson ordered all component cities and municipalities to comply with the EO through their respective disaster risk reduction and management offices and traffic management authorities with the assistance of the PNP and their force multipliers.
He advised the public to pay respect to their departed loved ones before Oct. 30 and after Nov. 2. — NAB