President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday urged Filipinos to pray for the victims of the Covid-19 pandemic and those risking their lives on the frontlines.

Duterte said the Filipino commemoration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day was “a strong pillar of our faith and identity as a people.”

“As we follow the example of the saints and pray for our loved ones who have passed on, let us also pray for each other, especially during this pandemic,” he said in a statement.

“We pray for those who have died because of Covid-19 and we also pray for those who have sacrificed life and limb to save more lives and keep us safe,” he added.

Duterte said he was confident the Philippines would emerge as a stronger nation after the pandemic.

Nov. 1, All Saints’ Day, was declared a special non-working holiday while Nov. 2, All Souls’ Day, was declared a special working day.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases ordered all cemeteries and columbaries across the country closed from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 to curb the spread of Covid-19. John Ezekiel J. Hirro