MANILA — People heading for the cemeteries to observe All Saints’ Day on Wednesday should take care not to tire or stress themselves out, the new spokesperson of the Department of Health (DOH) said.
Fatigue and stress could lead to high blood pressure and heart attack, said Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy.
“Some people, who because of the hot weather, might experience fatigue, difficulty in breathing, or a heart attack due to the long walk,” said Lee Suy in an interview with the media on Monday.
For those who have pre-existing conditions, his advice was to opt to stay home or visit their departed some other time.
“If we think that a family member is hindi naman kaya talagang maglakad, mahirap naman talaga at stressful din kasi yan, think twice kung kailangang dalhin pa natin sila sa sementeryo (If we think that some family members would find it difficult to make the stressful trip to the cemetery, think twice about bringing them along). The same with the kids,” he said.
However, if they insist on tagging along, don’t forget to bring their medicines, he added.
Lee Suy also advised the use of sunscreen as a protection against the excessive heat of the sun, and umbrellas and rainwear when it rains.
Bring drinking water to keep yourselves hydrated and to avoid water-borne diseases, and shun food from questionable sources as this could cause poisoning and diarrhea, he said.
Lee Suy also reminded smokers to be considerate and avoid causing harm to other people who deserve a smoke-free environment.
“Many can get exposed to second-hand smoke, especially the children, in the cemeteries. We should be responsible, not only for our health but also for the health of people around us,” he said.
Meanwhile, the EcoWaste Coalition, together with the Tzu Chi Foundation and Manila’s health department, called on the public not to turn cemeteries into garbage dumps.
“Place your food in reusable bags or containers, such as jars. Instead of buying plastic flowers, buy organic flowers so we can also help farmers,” Daniel Alejandre, Zero Waste Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview.
Sanitation inspector of the Manila Health Department, Bryan Baltazar, said many people overlook their responsibility to maintain the cemetery’s cleanliness.
“Pag maraming basura, nakaka-attract tayo ng maraming insects. Minsan mga langaw, mga ipis. Diyan na pumapasok ang mga sakit (Garbage attracts pests, such as flies and cockroaches, and this results in diseases),” he added, citing gastrointestinal and mosquito-borne illnesses.
Baltazar likewise discouraged noise pollution in the cemetery – usually when irresponsible people drink liquor or sing too loud – as this is disrespectful.
Michael Siao of the Tzu Chi Foundation said they have designated volunteers in nine cemeteries to collect plastic waste, among them the Manila Memorial Park in Sucat, Parañaque; Holy Cross Memorial Park in Novaliches, Quezon City; Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City; Paraiso Memorial Park in San Mateo, Rizal; Himlayang Pilipino; and Manila North Cemetery.
Siao said they want the public to do something for the environment.
Lee Suy suggested that people bring garbage bags to the cemetery, put all their trash in there and dispose of them in designated garbage areas. (PNA)