500% hike on cemetery rates too much: dads-A A +A
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
THE proposed 500 percent hike on rates of burial ground in the city-owned Wireless Cemetery in Madapo Hills is not sitting well with some councilors who described it as "exorbitant."
This led to the deferment of the proposed ordinance amending a portion of the city's Revenue Code of 2005 to the council's regular session next week.
Narcisa Barcelo, local legislative officer of the City Council, told Sun.Star Davao Wednesday that some councilors questioned the excessive increase that the city's executive department is proposing through the City Economic Enterprise and Economic Planning Services (Ceeeps).
The proposed ordinance amending Chapter 5, Article 7 of the Revenue Code of Davao City on charges and rates at the wireless cemetery was calendared for second reading on October 23.
From P2,000 rental fee on a grave lot for 10 years at the adult section, the city plans to increase it to P12,000 for a period of six years. At the children's section, the P1,000 rental fee for 10 years will be increased to 5,000.
Barcelo said Councilors Jimmy Dureza, Rene Elias Lopez, Bernard Al-ag, Conrado Baluran, among others, stood up to question the proposed rates.
Dureza said should the council pass the proposed rate increase this will adversely affect the poorest of the poor in Davao City who rely on government subsidized services, including burial services.
Jose Elmaro P. Guintadcan, for his part, said the proposed rate increase of cemetery charges will enable the city to recover the P23.5 million it invested in the rehabilitation of the 110-year-old cemetery and to boost the city's coffers.
Guintadcan said the proposed rate will be more advantageous to the public since the P12,000-rate for a grave lot rentable for six years include all the services from digging to all pertinent labors.
He said with the present rate of P2,000 per grave lot, the family of a deceased has to spend around P14,000-P16,000 for other services.
At the later part of the session, some councilors who earlier questioned the proposed rate have been convinced.
But Lopez and Dureza abstained from voting which led to the deferment of the item since there were not enough councilors present to vote for the approval of the ordinance.
According to Councilor Arnulfo Cabling, an ordinance that entails imposition of fees must get 15 votes from the members of the council.
Should the proposed amendments get the council's nod, the following will be the new rates for compartmentalized niches that are rentable for only six years: ground level - P6,400; second level - P8,000; third level - P7,200; fourth level - P5,600.
"After the expiration of the six years lease period, the bone remains of the dead person shall be exhumed and transferred to an ossuary that will have an imposition fee of P200 as annual fee renewal fee payable every January of each year," a portion of the proposed amended-version of the code read.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 18, 2012.