BAGUIO CITY – The City Environment and Parks Management office (CEPMO) admitted the city’s 9-hectare public cemetery along Naguilian road is already congested and the city government continues to explore possible interventions to allow the continuous operation of the same as a burial site for the dead. Engr. Nico Parado of the CEPO, claimed that side from encouraging the relatives of dead persons to use the existing condo-tombs for repositing the remains of their love ones, the city government is now mandating them to sign waivers that the rental of the lot where their love ones will be buried will only be for 5 years.
After the expiration of the 5-year period, Prado explained that the relatives of the dead will have the option to renew the agreement, or take the bones of their love ones and have it placed in a bone vault, among other appropriate interventions to free the area for the use of others as burial site for their dead.
He disclosed one of the programs of the city government is to have a detailed survey on the actual number of the dead buried in the public cemetery and input the same to a geographic information system to enhance the city’s database on the real number of dead people buried in the city’s largest public cemetery.
Further, the city government is also working out the development of the access road leading to the proposed expansion site of the public cemetery on a 4,000-square meter property purchased by the city over two decades ago to prevent the further congestion inside the existing cemetery.
Based on the data retrieved by the CEPMO from relevant offices of the city government, there are more or less 111,000 dead that are buried in the public cemetery since year 2000 with an average of 4 dead being buried in the cemetery every month and still counting.
Parado emphasized the city government continues to explore doable interventions for implementation in the city public cemetery to ensure its continuous operation amidst the congestion while efforts are being done to start using the expansion site adjacent to the existing public cemetery and for people to use the condo-tombs or the cremation of the bodies of their departed love ones.
Parado revealed there are over 2,000 square meters in the existing public cemetery that can still accommodate burials while only 25 percent of the existing condo-tombs have been used up, there is still available limited space in the city’s public cemetery.
The previous administration had been looking for other suitable areas outside the existing public cemetery to serve as the new site of another public cemetery but the same was not realized considering the limited land that is available within the jurisdiction of the city, thus, the need to explore other available areas outside Baguio but within nearby areas in Benguet.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis