Cebu City asks for space in Catholic cemeteries to build tombs
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City government is asking the Archdiocese of Cebu for space in four major Catholic cemeteries in the city to build more tombs.
This is one of the solutions the city government is looking into to solve the lack of space in cemeteries for burial, especially with the rise of COVID-19 casualties.
Acting Mayor Michael Rama is not keen on building a mass grave for COVID-19 fatalities and has instead instructed Councilor David Tumulak to look for other means.
Tumulak proposed to Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma to build tombs in four of the major Catholic cemeteries including those in Calamba, Cabantan, Luz, and Talamban.
The Archdiocese of Cebu is currently reviewing this proposal.
In the proposal, the city is asking for 140 square meters of land in each cemetery to build a structure that can house four layers or a total of 290 tombs.
“This is not just for COVID. This is for everybody that needs a burial space,” said Tumulak.
The councilor estimates that the project can cost up to P2.8 million in each cemetery, but since materials are available from the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW), this cost may be significantly reduced.
The city government is now awaiting the approval of Archbishop Palma for the proposal to get the construction started.
Tumulak also plans to propose a memorandum of agreement to the City Council for the planned construction of the tombs since the city government wants the respective cemeteries to manage the tombs.
“Kung mo-yes na si Archbishop, sugdan dayon nato,” said the councilor.
Earlier, the city government initially planned a mass grave in Barangay Adlaon should COVID-19 deaths continue to rise in the next few days or weeks.
However, due to environmental concerns and other issues, Rama said it may not be the most viable solution to the lack of burial space in the city. /rcg
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