Shortage of burial spaces in Cebu City cemeteries noted
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A significant rise in deaths in Cebu City has been noted by the Cebu City Health Department (CHD) along with the announcement of major cemeteries that they no longer have burial spaces.
A list presented by Councilor David Tumulak showed that five major cemeteries in the city have indicated they no longer have available spaces for burials, while one, the Carreta cemetery, said they only have four niches left.
The cemeteries that have no more spaces are Queen City, Pardo, Calamba, A. Lopez Municipal Cemetery, and A. Lopez Veterans Cemetery.
In an interview with Calamba Cemetery’s contact person, Antonio Baguio, he said that there are no more available burial spaces in the cemetery.
Baguio said that they will have to wait until some bones or remains can be exhumed before they can accept more burials.
As of now, there is simply not enough space for bodies to be buried inside the said cemeteries and even Carreta Cemeteries has limited space as well.
CHD Cadaver Division has noted a rise in deaths in the city, particularly in July 2021. These deaths are said to be COVID-19-related, but these have yet to be verified.
In their database, there are already 55 COVID-19-related deaths with 34 verified by the command center. Others are tagged as suspected or probable COVID-19 cases.
This is significantly higher than the numbers in June 2021, wherein there were only 29 verified COVID-19 related deaths.
Doctor Alice Marie Aycardo, the division head, said that they have been closely monitoring the funeral homes and cemeteries over the rise in deaths.
She confirmed that in urban cemeteries, there is a lack of space because the usual exhumation of long-time remains could not catch up with the number of new bodies that need to be buried.
However, she notes that it cannot be attributed to COVID-19 alone as the deaths in the city for other reasons is also high with 580 non-COVID-related deaths in June 2021 and 605 non-COVID-related deaths in July 2021.
“So ato gyod na gimonitor atong funeral homes and cemeteries. Ang funeral homes walay problema, nakacope ra sila. Pero atong urban cemeteries medyo kulang gyod. Pero naa paman tay bukid,” said Aycardo.
Aycardo said that aside from urban cemeteries, the city has ample space in the rural areas, including in Barangays Talamban, Sinsin, Sirao, Cambinocot, Adlaon, and others.
Also, she said that the situation may change in the next months as exhumations are done on a monthly basis and space may clear up in the said cemeteries earlier than expected.
Although space may not be accessible to urban settlers, Aycardo said this is one of the solutions they are looking at with regards to the lack of graveyard space problem.
“For now wala gyod ta sa urban areas pwera nalang sa ubang private cemeteries. So siguro for now, bukid lang sa ta,” added Aycardo.
READ MORE: Cebu City COVID-19 cemetery project shelved
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