Public order, health cmtes back opening of memorial parks during MECQ

THE joint City Council committees on public order and safety and on health and health insurance chaired by Councilors Romeo V. Calizo and Maria Lourdes S. Gaane, respectively, recommended the approval of the opening of all memorial parks in the city, which has been placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).

This after the City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (CLENRO) presented the draft of the public advisory for memorial parks pursuant to Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) omnibus guidelines on the implementation of community quarantine.

The committees convened in response to the special report of Councilor Edgar S. Cabanlas during the City Council regular session regarding the prohibition of visiting dead relatives at cemeteries. He said he received some complaints regarding this matter.

“I think we should make some adjustments. Kung ato ning i-allow then we could adopt guidelines through CLENRO and other concerned agencies,” he said.

According to Hilarion Baclig, representative of CLENRO, restrictions imposed at the cemetery are based on the omnibus guidelines of the IATF.

He said under MECQ guidelines, establishments, persons, activities not permitted to operate, work, or to be undertaken during ECQ, are allowed to operate at a 50-percent on-site capacity.

Pursuant to the proposed advisory, only five persons will be allowed to visit per grave which shall be limited to a maximum of 20 minutes per visit. Visitors should strictly observe minimum health standards and will be required to present their vaccination cards. The visits must first be coordinated with the memorial parks and no food, drinks or beverages shall be allowed.

Baclig clarified that the advisory is only intended for visitation. For burials, only 10 persons, composed of immediate family members, shall be allowed.

CONSIDERATION

Councilor Gaane said the time limit of 20 minutes per visit is too short and recommended that this be changed to 30 minutes.

She also recommended that the vaccination card requirement be reconsidered citing that the average number of vaccinated persons in the city is still at 39-percent.

“Consider the vaccination card. Ang uban man gud wala pa na-vaccinan, wala pa niabot sa category,” she explained.

Baclig noted the suggestion of Councilor Gaane regarding the time limitation. He said this was suggested by some cemeteries because of the increase in the average number of burials per day.

He said the vaccination card requirement was proposed to promote and encourage constituents to get vaccinated. He, however, assured that CLENRO will consider deleting such provision.

The joint committees will draft an ordinance allowing the visitation of the dead relatives subject to regulations.