MANILA — All Saints’ Day crowd at the Manila North Cemetery already reached over a million people, the Manila Police District (MPD) said on Thursday.
“Possibly the peak ng pagpunta ng tao ay until past 6 p.m., dadami pa ang mga tao sa tantsa namin kumpara sa nakaraang taon kung saan nagkaroon ng pag-ulan (of people visiting is until 6 p.m., we estimate that the crowd will increase compared to last year when there was rain),” MPD Station 3 commander Supt. Julius Cesar Domingo said in an interview with newsmen.
MPD’s latest tally showed that a total of 1,060,753 visitors have gone to the cemetery to pay tribute to their deceased loved ones as of 1 p.m.
Domingo said they implemented security measures as planned but they had to make changes in the entrance procedures with the consent of the cemetery’s administration.
“Bulk of people entered around 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. nasa labasan na ng Blumentritt. Meron diyan halos mag-away na sa pila kaya nagdagdag ng pasukan, priority lane for PWDs and senior citizens, sa ngayon (at the Blumentritt exit. There were some who almost engaged in a fight because of the long queue so we added lanes, priority lane for PWDs and senior citizens,) 10 lanes,” he said.
He said they started with only two lanes on Oct. 28 to 30 and then six lanes on Wednesday.
Despite their continuous information drive about the prohibited items in the cemetery, Domingo said many people still tried to smuggle in knives and pointed objects, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and illegal drugs.
“There are six public assistance desks in case they see prohibited items like alcohol and cigarettes… or arrest smokers and of course those who are selling them inside the cemetery. There’s a consideration to allow (matches and lighters) so they can light their candles),” he added.
Domingo admitted that it is challenging to implement the city ordinance regarding garbage disposal inside the cemetery.
“Dito sa Manila bawal talaga iyong mga nagkakalat pero dahil sa dami ng tao medyo nahihirapan kami (Littering is not really allowed here in Manila but because there are a lot of people we are having a hard time),” he said. Ma. Teresa Montemayor/PNA-northboundasia.com