The authorities on Sunday started evicting vendors inside Manila North Cemetery following city hall’s order to enforce the no-vendors policy there.
Around 35,000 personnel from the Philippine National Police will be deployed nationwide to ensure the security and safety of the public for the observance of All Saints’ Day on Friday, its spokesman said Sunday.
Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told dzBB that nearly 100,000 volunteers were set to augment the police force during the holidays.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said the number coding scheme will be lifted for all vehicles on Nov. 1, and for provincial buses on Oct. 31 and Nov. 4 due to the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day holidays.
The MMDA said the number coding scheme will be suspended to accommodate the large number of travelers going to or heading back from the provinces during the holidays.
“A no-day off, no-absent policy will be enforced among our traffic enforcers on October 31, November 1 and November 4,” MMDA chairman Danilo Lim said in a statement.
The Philippine Coast Guard on Sunday morning recorded close to 25,000 outbound passengers at sea ports all over the country, and five days ahead of the observance of the traditional All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day holidays.
From 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Sunday, the coast guard said the number of outbound passengers recorded at the ports nationwide was 24,971.
Some vendors stayed in front of the Manila North Cemetery’s main gate, although the officers insisted they are were not allowed there.
Other vendors selling flowers and candles managed to escape and hide from the authorities to continue doing business inside the cemetery.
“Masakit sa aming mawalan ng puwesto lalo na ito ang hanapbuhay namin. Dito lang kami kumukuha ng pang-kain,” said vendor Abie Jimenez.
Said vendor Mirasol Castañeda: “Masama ang loob namin, mayor. Minsan lang po sa isang taon ang pagkakataon naming kumita. Sana po, mayor, pagbigyan n’yo kami.”
Meanwhile, the administration of the Manila South Cemetery heeded the request of vendors to allow them to operate until midnight on Tuesday.
“Nakiusap po sila dahil wala raw silang Pamasko, whatever, etcetera. Siyempre, tao lang tayo, mapagbigyan naman natin ang kahilingan ng mga nagtitinda bilang pakikisama,” Raffy Mendez of the Manila South Cemetery administration said.
A few days before All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day, the two public cemeteries were already congested with people visiting their departed.
Malou Lamit, 64, came early to offer flowers and candles despite the scorching heat.
“Malayo kami, sa Marikina kami nakatira. Eh dumalaw na kami ng maaga. Pagka a-uno o a-dos, mahirap, siksikan na,” Lamit said.
Rey Sobresida, who lives in the eastern province of Rizal, along with his family also paid a visit to their departed loved ones.
“Baka hindi na kami makapunta ng a-uno. Kapag pupunta ka ng a-uno, napakasikip. Sa paglakad pa lang, pahirapan na,” he said.
Vehicles will no longer be allowed inside both cemeteries from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2.