Government work suspended half-day today for Undas

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    WORK in government offices nationwide will only be until noon today, October 31, as indicated in a memorandum circular issued by Malacañang yesterday.

    Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has issued Memorandum Circular No. 69 which giving “government employees full opportunity to properly observe All Saints Day (01 November 2019) and to allow them to travel to and from the different regions in the country.”

    Medialdea said government agencies involved in the delivery of basic and health services, disaster preparedness and response, and those performing other vital services are exempted from the suspension.

    Medialdea said the decision to suspend classes in private schools and work in private companies and offices is left to the discretion of their respective heads or employers.

    November 1 or All Saints’ Day, which falls on a Friday, is a regular non- working holiday, while November 2 or All Souls’ Day, which falls on a Saturday, is a special non-working day based on Proclamation No. 555 that was signed by President Duterte on August 15, 2018.

    Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano reminded local government units and law enforcement agencies to be vigilant even as all security measures for a peaceful commemoration of Undas are already in place.

    Año, through DILG Memorandum Circular 2019-174, reminded all LGUs to be on top of the commemoration of the twin holidays and “implement all necessary measures towards a peaceful and safe observance of Undas 2019.”

    He likewise urged LGUs to convene their respective Local Peace and Order Council s (LPOCs) and exercise its mandate by formulating a contingency plan on peace and order, and public safety.

    “Peace and security can’t be achieved by one entity alone, hence we urge the LGUs to tap and maximize their LPOCs this Undas 2019,” he added.

    Año also encouraged the mobilization and deployment of law enforcement units, barangay tanods, and medical personnel within the vicinity of private and public cemeteries and memorial parks, and local and national roads to provide assistance and increase police visibility to motorists and ensure traffic management.

    He directed LGUs to ensure security units are present in critical areas within their province, city and municipality to prevent the entry of criminals and to apprehend them.

    “Criminals don’t go on a holiday. On the contrary, this is their season to wreak havoc and victimize our kababayans (countrymen). We need all law enforcement units and force multipliers to be alert at all times,” Año said.

    Año said the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) will be in full force during the Undas holiday.

    “The PNP and BFP will be on the streets manning all points of convergence to ensure that this year’s Undas will be safe and peaceful for all Filipinos,” Año said.

    Starting October 28 until November 3, the PNP will ensure intensified police visibility and deploy its entire 190,000 personnel “working overtime to ensure that Filipinos will have peace of mind as they observe Undas 2019.”

    A total of 35,618 cops will be deployed in cemeteries with the inclusion of 99,716 force multipliers or volunteers.

    The BFP, through its annual Oplan Kaluluwa program, are also on alert.

    Año said all units of the BFP will be on heightened alert or Code Blue from October 27-29 and full alert or Code Red from October 30 to November 2 to maximize the deployment of personnel and keep all stations ready to respond to any emergency.

    The PNP Highway Patrol Group will deploy 695 of its men on major roads leading to and from cemeteries for traffic management and to extend motorist assistance.

    Police Brig. Gen. Dionardo Carlos said that of the number, 360 will be deployed at the vicinity of cemeteries, 260 in bus terminals, 26 in train stations, 34 in seaports, and 15 in airports.

    He said at least 2,000 volunteers will also assist the HPG.

    Carlos reminded the public to check the condition of their vehicles before they travel. He added drivers must be in good health before manning the wheels as human factors are the most common cause of accidents.

    QC TRAFFIC RE-ROUTING SCHEME

    The Quezon City government has laid out traffic re-routing plans at the vicinity of its six major cemeteries to ensure smooth traffic flow during the Undas holiday.

    For Manila North Cemetery, trucks and buses coming from the Balintawak area along A. Bonifacio Avenue and heading towards Manila shall turn left to Sgt. Rivera Street, right to D. Tuazon Street, right at Calamba Street going to Manila; trucks and buses going back to their points of origin shall enter Ma. Clara, left to Banawe Street, left Sgt. Rivera Street then turn right to A. Bonifacio Avenue to its point of destination.

    Private vehicles and PUJs, including taxi cabs, coming from Balintawak area heading towards Manila shall enter Mayon Street, which is a one-way street from Del Monte Avenue to Sct. Alcaraz Street, turn right to Retiro Street, turn left to Dr. Alejos Street, and turn right to Don Manuel Agregado Street across Blumentritt.

    In going back to their points of origin, vehicles shall go straight to Retiro Street, which is a one-way street from Blumentritt Extension to Mariveles Street, turn left to CDC Street, turn left to Angelo Street, turn right to Sct. Alcaraz, turn left to Speaker Perez, turn left to Del Monte Avenue, turn right to A. Bonifacio Avenue and then to Balintawak.

    PUJs and private vehicles including taxicabs, coming from the general direction of San Francisco Del Monte Avenue shall turn left to Mayon Street and follow route from Del Monte Avenue.

    The QC transportation task force said a partial closure at 4 a.m. on Friday (November 1) will be implemented at the outermost lane westbound of A. Bonifacio Avenue from Mayon-Del Monte and A. Bonifacio intersection up to Calavite Street for pedestrians.

    Parking areas will be made available to motorists along the streets of Ipo, Gen. Tinio, Abao, Labo and Bulusan while there will be no parking along the outermost lane northbound of A. Bonifacio Avenue from C-3 to Calavite Street.

    For Eternal Garden Memorial Park, all vehicles will be allowed to enter the cemetery using Leland Drive and they will exit using Baesa Gate. One way entrance on all vehicles coming from Reparo Service Road to Bagong Barrio Gate and Service Road of NDR to NLEX as entrance.

    Maxima Drive will be closed starting 2:00 a.m. on Friday (November 1) and will serve as exit to Quirino Highway. Leland Drive will be open and will serve to incoming vehicles.

    The left side of the entrance of the cemetery will be available as parking area. Meanwhile, there will be no parking on both sides along the stretch of Quirino Highway and along Leland Drive and Maxima Street.

    For Parokya ng Pagkabuhay/Bagbag Cemetery, vehicles will not be allowed to enter the cemetery. Parking will be at the left side of King Alexis Street coming from Kingspoint Street. Vehicles will be prohibited from parking on both sides along the stretch of Quirino Highway and Kingspoint Street.

    For Holy Cross Memorial Park, entry point of all vehicles will be at the back of Green Heights Subdivision and will exit at P. dela Cruz Street all the way to Quirino Highway. One side parking is allowed inside the cemetery. Meanwhile, there will be no parking on both sides along the stretch of Quirino Highway and Green Heights and P. Dela Cruz Street.

    For Novaliches Cemetery, vehicles will not be allowed to enter the cemetery, while vehicles coming from Gen. Luis will turn right at Doña Isaura and will use Sarmiento Street as exit to Quirino Highway.

    Vehicles going to Caloocan North, Green Fields 3 coming from Quirino Highway shall take Susano Road, on the way to BF/Bagumbong, Caloocan City.

    One side parking will be available at Millionaires Subdivision. Vehicles are not allowed, however, to park on both sides of Gen. Luis Street, from Susano Road to Doña Isaura Street.

    For Himlayang Pilipino, entry point of all vehicles will be at Himlayan Road and will exit at the back using Philand Drive Subdivision. Another exit point to use is the St. Anthony School Road leading to the Napocor Village.

    Parking areas will also be set near the office of Himlayan, near Emilio Jacinto Shrine, and along Fensjuio Park. Parking is not allowed along the stretch of Tandang Sora Avenue and along Himlayan Road leading to the cemetery.

    SUSPENDED MMDA ARRESTS

    The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will temporarily suspend the apprehension of one-sided and double parked vehicles in some of the vicinity of cemeteries in the metropolis starting today until November 2, Saturday.

    MMDA Gen. Manager Jojo Garcia said enforcers will not apprehend vehicles for illegal parking but warned cars found obstructing traffic flow in the areas of cemeteries will be towed.

    Garcia directed LGUs to post signages for road closures, one-way schemes and rerouting schemes.

    Garcia said over 2,300 MMDA personnel will be deployed in cemeteries to augment LGU enforcers to ensure traffic flow and to different terminals to assist travelers.

    Also, some 300 members of the Sidewalk Clearing Operations Group (SCOG) will be deployed outside of cemeteries to clean.

    He said emergency teams will be on standby and will be closely coordinating with the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (MDRRMC) for emergencies.

    All road re-blocking works in EDSA and C-5 this weekend are suspended.

    The number coding scheme for provincial buses is lifted today and on Monday.

    For both private and public vehicles, the number coding scheme is automatically lifted on November 1, Friday.

    No-day off, no absent policy will also be enforced among traffic enforcers starting today until November 4.

    DOH CODE WHITE

    Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said they have already raised the Code White Alert in all government hospitals in anticipation of possible emergency cases.

    “All our hospitals are on Code White. It means all off-duty personnel must be on call, on alert so that they can be called up anytime to report for duty in case we have emergencies or a surge in patients,” said Duque.

    A Code White Alert is declared when there is a mass gathering or national event and there is a possibility of emergency conditions that may need immediate medical attention.

    Under Code White Alert, the DOH assures the readiness of hospital manpower like general and orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, operating room nurses, opthalmologists, and otorhinolaryngologists, to respond to any emergency situation.

    Also during Code White Alert, emergency service, nursing and administrative personnel residing at the hospital dormitory shall be placed on an on-call status for immediate mobilization.

    Meanwhile, the health chief urged the public to plan their trips to cemeteries well.

    He said it is advisable that the public will opt to avoid large crowds in visiting their departed loved ones in order to prevent transmission of communicable diseases.

    Duque also said it will be better if the elderly and infants are not brought to cemeteries as they are more prone to dehydration and other infectious diseases.

    As for those going to cemeteries, he said it is best that they bring their own food and drinks instead of buying those sold by ambulent vendors in order to avoid food poisoning.

    The Mandaluyong City government said one of its public cemeteries has gone digital for information and other basic services.

    Mayor Menchie Abalos said that visiting residents and relatives will have less time looking for the location for the niche or columbary (burial vault) of their deceased at the Garden of Life Park which has set up a 3D online directory at the cemetery’s main office.

    The Garden of Life Park 3D online directory uses internet connection and is available online.

    The cemetery’s database system is also a customized computer application dedicated to the employees of the Garden of Life Park to improve the operations and delivery of basic services to Mandaleños.

    In 2007, former Mayor Benhur Abalos started the modernization of the city public cemetery into a one-stop-shop by establishing a chapel, crematory, columbary and funeral services for deceased residents. – With Raymond Africa, Rod Lagusad, Gerard Naval and Christian Oineza