Public and private cemeteries in the province of Ilocos Norte will remain open in time for the observance of All Souls’ Day.
Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc said Wednesday the Ilocano’s tradition of remembering and honoring the dead is deeply-rooted in their culture hence, everyone is expected to flock to the cemeteries to visit their departed loved ones.
But in order to regulate overcrowding in memorial parks and public cemeteries, Manotoc said scheduled visitation hours will be posted anytime soon to avoid the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“We’ll find a way to mitigate the spread of coronavirus without closing our cemeteries. Perhaps, we can extend operating hours and allow windows of time like 2-3 hours to visit our departed loved ones,” he said citing a “maximum capacity” of people visiting cemeteries must be in place.
Earlier, the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has agreed to the government’s order to close all cemeteries, columbariums, and memorial parks from October 29 to November 4.
Placed under extended modified general community quarantine, Ilocos Norte has started accepting locally stranded individuals again at the provincial borders that were closed for a week to decongest its quarantine facilities and give a break to front-liners who are working day and night to prevent and contain the spread of Covid-19.
While encouraging everyone to stay outdoors and breathe fresh air, he reiterated that one must always observe the minimum health protocols and stay healthy. (PNA)