ILOILO CITY – The city government here is ready for the influx of visitors in 22 public and private cemeteries visiting their departed loved ones during the "Undas" or All Saints and All Souls' Days on Nov. 1 and 2, respectively.
City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) head Donna Magno said they expect more or less 100,000 visitors spread out throughout the two days and even until the weekend.
The highest number is expected on Nov. 1 and 2, with more or less 50,000.
“Because it’s a long weekend and we have no more restrictions, more people are expected. And because of the elections, others will take the opportunity to go to cemeteries,” she said in an interview.
The visitor count during the 2022 Undas was less than 50,000.
Magno said they already conducted a coordinating meeting on Friday (Oct. 27) and discussed preparations for the Kalag-Kalag 2023 together with the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO), City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), City Engineer’s Office (CEO), City Health Office (CHO), More Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power), Iloilo City Emergency Responders (ICER), Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and other volunteer groups.
ICPO will establish assistance desks in various cemeteries and strictly implement Executive Order No. 140 issued by Mayor Jerry P. Treñas on Oct. 18.
The EO prohibits liquor and alcoholic beverages, highly combustible materials, drones and firearms unless they have permits, sharp objects and deadly weapons, video, gambling, and overnight stay inside the premises of private and public cemeteries, memorial parks, columbaria, and similar places.
The CEO will be responsible for the installation of electricity, MORE Power will dispatch teams that will immediately troubleshoot concerns related to power, and the BFP will deploy firetrucks for the “recorrida” to remind the public of fire prevention.
The CHO, ICER, and other volunteer groups will deploy teams for medical assistance in major cemeteries.
Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) assured of a sufficient supply of candles and bottled water, which are among the most in-demand commodities during Undas amid its nationwide “Undas Bantay Presyo” and special monitoring on flower prices and supply on Oct. 26.
DTI regional information officer Judy Sajo said the selling price of candles and bottled water is covered by the suggested retail price (SRP), while prices of flowers are expected to increase.
“In terms of supply, it is okay because they have regular deliveries. As to the flowers, smaller flower shops will end until Undas, but for bigger shops, they keep an inventory of 50 dozens and up,” she said.
The city government has designated areas for selling flowers including Yulo Drive across the police station in Sta. Filomena in Arevalo, Locsin Private Road between plaza and coffee shop across Ramboys in Molo, Oñate Street, market side in Mandurriao, Iznart Socorro to F&C Aldeguer Street in the City Proper, and outside the perimeter of plaza except Ledi Supermart in Jaro.
The selling of flowers in the identified areas is until 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 1. (PNA)