By Rey Anthony Chiu | 12:22 AM October 21, 2021
Governor Arthur Yap said he would recommend to the mayors in Bohol to adopt the national policies governing the commemoration of All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day, than adopt a local policy.
The governor bared this during the online meeting of the Bohol Inter Agency Task Force on the management of Emerging infectious Strategic Communications Cluster (BIATF StratCom) Monday October 18.
The national policy, according to Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, is to close all cemeteries in the country from October 29 to November 2, 2021.
This is to minimize the risk of Covid-19 transmission during “Undas.” Secretary Eduardo Año said Wednesday.
Undas, or the generic name for the commemoration of the Adlaw sa mga Santos and Kalag-kalag, is a Filipino adopted family tradition of visiting their departed relatives and kin to offer them flowers and prayers for their eternal repose and intercession, for some.
While the tradition is rooted in the catholic faith, many have shifted the religious practice into time and venue for socialization, reunion and clan gatherings in memorial parks and cemeteries.
With the continued threat of Covid especially with the Delta variant in Bohol, even when the Department of Health, upon looking at the decreasing number of Covid cases in Bohol, the lessening hospital bed utilization rate and the lowered Intensive Care Unit occupancy, the governor said he fears that loosening the policies in Bohol might shock the system and trigger yet another surge.
In a briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte aired on Wednesday early morning, Año said the government’s pandemic task force has passed a resolution that issued guidelines for the celebration of this year’s “Undas” amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
With this, the public may visit cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria before the closure dates or before October 29 and after November 2.
Even then, the national IATF, in its guidelines, said that visitors must still be limited to ten persons per group, and the venue must only allow 30% capacity, or 50%, if the local government unit authorizes it.
As this is allowed, the authorities would still be fielding monitors and personnel to assure that the policy is followed and that the visitors follow the minimum public health standards to prevent Covid-19 transmission.
The Philippine National Police, local government units, down to the barangay officers, are all expected to make sure the policy is implemented, Año added in reports. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)