Cebu City prepares for ‘extended’ Kalag-kalag

John Sitchon

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Cebu City prepares for ‘extended’ Kalag-kalag

KALAG-KALAG. Family members start to clean up the graves of their departed loved ones at the Carreta Cemetery in Cebu City on October 12, 2021, in preparation for the Kalag-kalag season or All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on November 1 and 2.

Jacqueline Hernandez/Rappler

'What is final is that it will be an extended observance, not just on November 1 and 2,' says a consultant to the Office of the Mayor

Observance in this city of the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day holidays – normally celebrated from November 1 to 2 – could start this year from October 18 up to November 4, said lawyer Colin Rosell, consultant to the Office of the Mayor, on Thursday, October 14.

Kalag-kalag is the Cebuano equivalent of All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day or Undas.

“We are now in the process of polishing of proposals, because our executive order states that administrators of public and private cemeteries must submit a COVID-19 or pandemic-related contingency plan or proposal on how to contain the spread of the virus,” Rosell said in a press conference.

He said the Office of the Mayor, along with other concerned offices, had already finalized proposals and sent them to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for review and approval.

“What is final is that it will be an extended observance, not just on November 1 and 2,” he said.

Rosell mentioned that among the proposed guidelines were that only vaccinated individuals would be allowed to visit the cemeteries on November 1 and 2, and that there should be an age limit for those visiting cemeteries on those days, excluding November 1 and 2.

Law enforcement during Kalag-kalag

Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) director Police Colonel Josefino Ligan said they would field 224 policemen, not counting augmentation from the civil defense units of the Army, Cebu City Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification, and Enhancement (PROBE) team, Cebu City Transportation Office, and Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.

The police director, addressing the same press conference, said deployment will begin a day before cemeteries will be opened. Prior to this, the CCPO will establish on-ground units in public and private cemeteries.

“For the five big cemeteries, we will be establishing advance command posts. For the small cemeteries, we will establish police assistance desks,” Ligan said.

The five big cemeteries are the Calamba Cemetery, Municipal Cemetery, Queen City Memorial Gardens, Carreta Cemetery, and Cebu Memorial Park.

Ligan encouraged fully vaccinated non-Cebu residents visiting the cemeteries to carry their vaccination cards at all times to ensure access.

No vendors, food allowed inside cemeteries

During the Kalag-kalag season, vendors will not be allowed inside the cemeteries. They can still sell outside cemetery grounds, according to Raquel Arce, head of the PROBE team.

Dili na man kinahanglan nga dunay magbaligya sa sulod, labi na kanang sa entrances, kay kailangan free flow ang pagpasulod sa mga taw ana – the same as ang pagpagawas kay wala tay pasudlon kung walay mugawas,” she said at the press conference.

(It’s no longer needed for vendors to be inside, especially near the entrances, because we need to have a free flow of people entering – the same as [people] leaving, because we won’t be able to bring people inside if nobody exits.)

We won’t allow the bringing of foods kay mao nay makadala’g langan – adto man didto magkaon kaon na,” she added.

(We won’t allow bringing of food because that will slow down the queue – they would end up eating there inside.)

Based on current Inter-Agency Task Force protocols, Cebu City’s cemeteries are only allowed to accommodate visitors at 70% capacity. – Rappler.com

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