City to lease bone chamber of Sto. Rosario-A A +A
Saturday, November 3, 2012
THE Cebu City Government cannot build a bone chamber inside the Lorega-San Miguel Cemetery.
According to the City Planning and Development Office, the site is 25 meters from the nearest residential area.
If it pushes through with the project, the City will violate Presidential Decree (PD) 856, or the Sanitation Code of the Philippines, said Councilor Alvin Dizon.
Section 90 of the law stipulates that “a burial ground shall be at least 25 meters distant from any dwelling house and no house shall be constructed within the same distance from the burial ground.”
Dizon said the City has reached an agreement with the Sto. Rosario Parish that will allow the City to store the bones of 300 bodies in its bone chamber for 25 years at a cost of P1 million.
The City will rent 38 bone chambers, with each chamber containing three sets of bones.
The P1-million budget for the construction of the bone chamber in Lorega that was included in last year’s supplemental budget will be used to pay the lease, Dizon said.
Dizon said the mayor’s office, through the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP), has been tasked to draft the contract.
However, the councilor lamented that it took the DWUP more than one year to draft the contract, adding that the final draft was only submitted to his office last Oct. 24.
“Sige gyud kog follow-up nila (I made constant follow-ups) but it took them almost a
year to prepare the contract,” he said.
Mayor Michael Rama had said he would check what delayed the project.
The City Council will tackle the contract’s final draft in the coming weeks before authorizing the mayor to enter into and sign the contract in behalf of the City.
Meanwhile, the City Health Department will send a sanitation inspector to the Lorega-San Miguel Cemetery to check how the bones are being stored and to see if there are possible violations of PD 856.
The bones, which were exhumed in 2010, are placed in sacks and stored in a room previously used as a daycare center.
Dizon said PD 856 provision is also the reason the City closed the cemetery for burial in 2010 and converted it into a socialized housing site.
A three-story building already stands inside the cemetery, housing 60 families.
The City plans to build seven more medium-rise buildings in the area to accommodate other families living inside the cemetery and those who have been displaced by
clearing operations along the city’s creeks and rivers.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 03, 2012.