NEWS: Bone remains of 8,000 Tagum deads at La Filipina cemetery still for transfer

Oct 7

Rising interments of new dead noted

The bone remains of the remaining 8,000 deceased who were buried and excavated to give way for the 2005 rehabilitation project for the La Filipina public cemetery are still subject for transfer to bone niches.

This as the City Hall temporarily stopped the issuance of burial permits to the city’s oldest cemetery as it ran out of tombs and niches to cater to the rising rate of interments of new dead at the cemetery.

The bone remains and skeletons of over 8,000 deads have been temporarily placed at the archive place in the cemetery awaiting for new bone niches to be constructed in the succeeding rehabilitation works.

These were bared by Rolly Trinidad, administrator of the La Filipina public cemetery, during Mondays session of the City Council, which inquired on the status of the cemetery following its “temporary closure” last Sept. 21.
Trinidad said though that the closure owing to lack of niches and tombs would only for those dead adults while the cemetery has still spaces for the dead children of age up to five years old.

He said that for now deads would have to be buried at the other public cemetery located at Madaum outskirt in the city even as several councilors tackled yesterday budgetary measures to address the stoppage of interment at La Filipina cemetery.

Trinidad said that in his own study he noted of an increasing rate of interments at the cemetary in the recent months hovering at a range of 80 to 90 monthly from the low 40 to 60 monthly before the 2005 start of cemetery rehabilitation project initiated by Mayor Rey Uy.

He said that the 2,676 tombs generated in the project were effectively consumed last month starting from progressing interments since 2005 while roughly only a half of the excavated bone remains of the over 16,000 deads has yet been laid in new bone niches constructed under the project.
In the same session, he also bared that the double-row niches at the perimeter have only a capacity of burying over 1,600 deads.

Since 2005 up to this year, the City Hall has already invested about P14 million with P2 million and P3 million budgets for last year and this year, respectively.

Trinidad added that the city government would need to infuse at least P2 million per year to produce some 1,200 tombs so it could not be outrun by the rising interment rates, excluding the budget for the rehabilitation of the niches.

Living Tagumenyos though should not worry as the La Filipina public cemetery has still a lot of spaces, which to the estimate of Trinidad could still run  up to 20 years.

Councilor Allan Zulueta yesterday batted for the slicing of the P3,600 burial fee at La Filipina into becoming a revolving trust fund of P2,000 for the cemetery’s continuing development and the rest as general fund, with separate rehabilitation budget.

Councilor Rey Salve, on the other hand, proposed for the enactment of supplemental budget before the yearend to address the problem, while Councilor De Carlo “Oyo” Uy proposed that the executive committee chaired by Trinidad would conduct research to anticipate the problem on interments and recommend measures to the finance committee of the city council and to the city mayor. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

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