Cebu City continues to build more tombs amid drop in COVID deaths
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Despite the significant drop in COVID-19 deaths in Cebu City, the city government has continued the construction of new tombs in the major cemeteries here.
Councilor Jerry Guardo, City Council’s chairperson for infrastructure, said that through the help of the private sector, the city had found means to construct the tombs using donated molds.
The molds are made of metal and cement need only be poured and dried before taking the mold out and building other tombs.
Five molds have been cast at the Cabantan Cemetery where more tombs are being built, and it takes only a day to complete each tomb essentially completing five tombs each day.
“Naggamit tag precast aron mas paspas. Pirmiro, we do it manually unya in a week, we can make 6 to 8 lang. Karon kay makaproduce tag lima per day,” said the councilor.
We used precast so that it will be done faster. At first, we do it manually and we can make just 6 to 8 tombs. Now, we can produce five per day.)
Guardo said the goal would be to complete more tombs not only Cabantan but also Calamba, Carreta, and Talamban.
So far, since the city began construction of new tombs due to the rise in COVID-19 fatalities last August 2021, the city’s deaths reached 346, but the completed tombs were only 24.
Fortunately, the deaths dropped to 130 in September 2021 and further dropped to 29 as of October 25, 2021.
Although there was no longer an immediate need for the new tombs, Guardo said the city would continue to make them as promised because the shortage in burial space during the third surge had reminded the government of the reality that there was a lack of tombs in the city.
The last time the city government shelved a cemetery project was in January 2021, when the City Council decided to no longer push through with the Cebu City Memorial Garden because of the decreased COVID-19 cases and deaths then.
The second surge happened shortly after the project was shelved in February 2021 and then the third surge has caused the burial space shortage and even storage shortage for bodies of the dead in August 2021.
For Guardo, the new tombs are insurance for whatever tide the pandemic would roll in again in the future, and that the city would at least not lack burial spaces anymore.
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