MANILA Department of Health Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag has advised people going to the cemeteries to visit the graves of their departed loved ones this "Undas" season to avoid buying food from stores and stalls that abound in and near the cemeteries.
"Beware of food sold in stalls and stores in and around cemeteries as these pose risk of food poisoning," Dr. Tayag said in his Twitter account.
Aside from selling candles, flowers, Halloween costumes and toys, many of the stores also sell food items to the cemetery visitors.
Meanwhile, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino also also asked the public to avoid generating too much garbage inside the cemeteries.
As of Thursday noon, over 900,000 people have flocked to the Manila North Cemetery, one of Metro Manila's largest cemeteries, to visit their departed loved ones on All Saints' Day.
The cemetery administration said they were prompted to open additional gates because of the high volume of visitors this year.
About 200 policemen were assigned to inspect the visitors' belongings for any prohibited items such as alcohol, lethal weapons, playing cards, and metal objects, including heavy belt buckles.
On the other hand, the smaller Manila South Cemetery near the boundary of Manila and Makati City reported around 500,000 visitors Thursday morning.
According to Philippine National Police Director-General Nicanor Bartolome, no untoward incident has been recorded in the area so far.
Bartolome cited the "airport-like" inspection of visitors in Metro Manila's cemeteries, saying this is helpful in preventing crimes. (PNA)