During first 2 days of schedule: Cebu City cemeteries record 1,300 visitors
Police and other security personnel are deployed at cemeteries in Cebu City to ensure that health protocols are observed by the visitors.
Romeo D. Marantal
During first 2 days of schedule: Cebu City cemeteries record 1,300 visitors
Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - September 29, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Around 1,300 people have visited their departed loved ones in Cebu City during the first two days of the allotted schedule by the government to visit the cemeteries in lieu of the traditional observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Clark Arriola, information officer of Cebu City Police Office, said the first two days of the schedule were not that busy. Police personnel, however, were strategically deployed to ensure the safety of people visiting their departed members of the family ahead of “Kalag-Kalag” this year.

"Dili pa gyud ing-ana ka daghang tawo, and we did not only deploy didto sa mga cemeteries nato, nagdeploy ta sa mga terminal, sa pier, sa Freedom Park and kaning buwakan nato sa Busay," Arriola told reporters.

At least 150 personnel have been deployed by CCPO to man the different cemeteries in the city. The policemen are tasked to make sure that minimum health protocols are observed by the people visiting the cemeteries.

"Sa first day of deployment nato wala gyuy nidagsa and nakatabang siguro sad ning mga awareness nato nga rekorida, mga information drive nato, postings nato sa social media, nga aware na ang mga tawo na ato gyud i-observe ang social distancing," said Arriola.

The government has allowed the public to visit the cemeteries in advance from September 26 to October 29, considering that all public and private cemeteries will be closed from October 30 to November 3, 2020.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) recommended closing the cemeteries for the traditional observance of “Kalag-Kalag” this year to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Despite the early announcement and the information drive that cemeteries will be closed during the “Kalag-Kalag,” Arriola believes that there will still be people coming to visit the graves on that day.

He said they are preparing for it by closely coordinating with the barangay control points and conducting constant patrol to prevent people from congregating the cemeteries during the prohibited days.

Arriola reminded the public that quarantine protocols are still in effect, including quarantine passes.

Meanwhile, Police Regional Office-7 chief Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro had observed that people are now more cautious. This attitude should be maintained even if quarantine status will be lifted, said Ferro.

The city is currently under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until the end of September. — FPL  (FREEMAN)

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