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Metro Manila mayors agree on shortened curfew, restricted cemetery access

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Metro Manila mayors agree on shortened curfew, restricted cemetery access
The Makati skyline is seen in this file photo.
The STAR / Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila's local chief executives have voted to impose shortened curfew hours from 12 midnight to 4 a.m. throughout the capital region starting Wednesday, October 13, pointing to a downtrend in its COVID-19 active cases.

In a statement, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Benhur Abalos said the adjustment was approved unanimously by the 17 Metro Manila mayors due to the declining number of COVID-19 cases, subject to continued enforcement of COVID-19 protocols and public health standards.

Abalos pointed to the Department of Health's statement on Monday that cited a general decrease in active cases of the pathogen in the National Capital Region.

"In light of the recent developments particularly the steady decrease of active cases, the curfew hours being presently implemented in the NCR under Alert Level 4 has to be adjusted," Abalos said at a press briefing Tuesday.

"Everything is going down. The number of COVID-19 cases are declining as well as the reproduction rate, according to DOH data and OCTA Research."

The current curfew hour is from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. following the implementation of a new alert level system last month being pilot tested to further curb the spread of the deadly virus.

Restricted cemetery visits for Undas week

For the second year in a row, the Metro Manila Council also approved a resolution urging LGUs to enact ordinances or adopt resolutions restricting access to public and private cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria from October 29 to November 2 to prevent mass gatherings and avert transmission during Undas or All Saints' Day.

“As for the conduct of wakes, necrological services, funerals, interment, cremation, and inurnment during this five-day period, the prescribed guidelines by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases shall govern," the resolution issued by the MMDA reads.

Abalos in his statement pointed out that the MMC decided to adopt the same resolution implemented last year to temporarily close cemeteries all over the metropolis for at least one week.

There are 29 public cemeteries in Metro Manila.

"Filipinos can still physically visit the graves of their departed loved ones earlier than October 29 or later than November 2, subject to the prescribed thirty percent (30%) venue capacity," Abalos said.

"Face masks, face shields, and observance of physical distancing will be required."

METRO MANILA COUNCIL METRO MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION
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