Overcrowded public cemeteries

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Today, one of the major problems of government is the provision of descent shelter to the rapidly growing population, especially in urban centers and rapidly flourishing rural areas. The current problem on the proliferation of informal settlers contributed in the sprouting of other problems that are either directly or indirectly connected with it. The sad fact is that concerned government agencies and local governments were not able to formulate the appropriate formula that will prevent the rapid growth of the population in the urban centers that frequently translate to other complicated concerns. Problems on scarcity of spaces, illegal invasion of private property, worsening traffic and peace and order issues, solid waste disposal concerns among others are the major headaches of those officials in the public service that result to the cracking of their heads in order to be able to implement safety nets to prevent such issues to escalate beyond their control.

We certainly believe that one of the more serious problems of government in the future would be the inadequate spaces for our departed love ones because rich corporations seem to be able to lord it over huge parcels of land for them to develop their businesses. Good if the business that they will establish will be for a memorial park. Without us not feeling it, the problem on the scarcity of space where the burry our departed loves ones is happening. First, people are now contented with purchasing expensive memorial lots just to have a descent space for their love ones. That is inherent to our wealthy members of the community. Second, families wanting their departed love ones to be buried in public cemeteries have a difficult time locating available spaces in existing public cemeteries in order to give their relatives a descent burial, thus, departing from this world would further become a burden to a family with a normal way of life.

Aside from the proliferation of informal settlers in private and public lands, squatters tend to even invade parts of public cemeteries that contribute in complicating the inadequate burial spaces for the increasing number of people dying following the reported decrease in the life expectancy of people. We foresee that there will come a time that being buried will become much more expensive that living on this earth because of the burden of locating for a descent place where one will be permanently laid to rest.

We humbly believe that it is high time for local governments to heavily invest in the acquisition of sufficient lands for the expansion of their public cemeteries. It must go with it proper planning in order to maximize its use and thwart whatever evil motives of people to intrude upon the areas that are dedicated for our departed love ones. It has been observed that most public cemeteries in Baguio City and Benguet have become overcrowded but the hands of concerned local governments are tied primarily because of the absence of sufficient area of land to expand the coverage of the cemeteries. Further, expansion projects of public cemeteries are derailed because of the presence of informal settlers within the metes and bounds of such properties that even have the nerve of contesting the decision of local officials for their outright eviction using their theory of long-time residents and that the land is part of their ancestral claims.

The government should be creative and innovative in deciding what would be the most appropriate for our public cemeteries to serve its purpose to serve as a permanent resting place for our departed love ones and not to serve as dwelling places for both the living and the dead. Year in and year out, common problems usually crop up during the commemoration of All Saints Day and All Souls Day but it seems current leaders have their hands tied in enforcing what should be right and shying away with what is supposed to be wrong.

We are of the view that are departed love ones deserve a descent resting placed free from whatever human activities that tend to disrupt their rest. Enough that we frequently visit their tombs everytime we want to but to allows man-made activities to proliferate within the public cemeteries year round should be disallowed and abandoned. Government must relocate the informal squatters around the perimeters of our public cemeteries, purchase it from private owners to be used as expansion areas. If such is not applicable, then it is high time for local governments to look for much wider spaces because there will come a time that there will be more people dying because of the serious negative effects of the foods we eat compared to those who are being born in this world. Let us not wait for our departed love ones to rise up from their tombs and stage a series of demonstration demanding for better shelter from the government. Maybe the militants will be happy that they will also have their allies both in hell and in heaven.

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