‘4 million Filipinos to visit cemeteries on Nov. 1’

Robertzon Ramirez, Evelyn Macairan, Non Alquitran - The Philippine Star
â4 million Filipinos to visit cemeteries on Nov. 1â

MANILA, Philippines — More than four million Filipinos are expected to visit their departed loved ones in cemeteries and columbariums in Metro Manila to observe All Saints’ Day on Nov. 1, a police official said yesterday.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Guillermo Eleazar said they are in the thick of preparations to secure 78 cemeteries and 38 columbariums in the metropolis.

He said they expect the number of Filipinos to visit cemeteries to rise from 3,583,765 last year, with more than 1.5 million projected to visit the Manila North and Manila South Cemeteries alone.

He said the NCRPO will set up police assistance desks at all the entrances of cemeteries “to address all concerns of the public, including criminality.”

A total of 2,556 police officers would be deployed to the 78 cemeteries and 234 more to the 38 columbariums, the NCRPO chief said.

At least 7,619 barangay peacekeepers and volunteers from medical organizations, radio communication groups and other non-government organizations will help address the needs of cemetery visitors, he added.

The NCRPO will also secure 296 bus terminals, 11 stations of the Philippine National Railways (PNR), 13 stations of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), 19 stations of the Light Railway Transit Line 1 (LRT-1), 16 stations of the LRT-2 and four airport terminals.

Eleazar ordered raids on known safehouses of criminals to prevent them from targeting cemetery visitors.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said yesterday it is set to revive its Lakbay Alalay program from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.

In a statement, Secretary Mark Villar said DPWH assistance centers would be set up along major roads and bridges.

The assistance centers would be manned by teams composed of an anchorman and mechanics ready with equipment. There will also be service vehicles on standby at strategic locations to provide assistance to motorists and pedestrians.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority will deploy more than 2,000 traffic enforcers starting next week to ease the flow of traffic to and from the Manila South Cemetery, Manila North Cemetery, Bagbag Cemetery in Quezon City, Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City and the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City, MMDA supervising operations officer Bong Nebrija said yesterday.

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