Project on hold as Cebu City undertakes technical study

THE proposed public cemetery project in Barangay Sapangdaku, Cebu City is on hold while a technical study is being conducted to address the concerns of residents near the project site.

Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, said they need to address the residents’ concerns over runoff water from the cemetery before proceeding with the project.

The proposed ordinance for the establishment of the new Cebu City Memorial Garden also remains pending before the Cebu City Council.

The new cemetery is envisioned to rise in Sitio Patay’ng Yuta and Sitio Baksan in Barangay Sapangdaku.

It is intended largely as a burial site for mortalities from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Not urgent

Tumulak said there is no urgency in implementing the project because of the low Covid-19 case fatality rate in Cebu City.

As of Nov. 24, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 685 mortalities out of the 10,602 total coronavirus cases in Cebu City.

The case fatality rate was 6.46 percent.

The doubling time for deaths, or the period that it takes for the number of mortalities to double, was 25.9 days.

“We’re just hoping that we won’t need to build a new cemetery because that would mean that the number of mortalities from Covid-19 increased,” Tumulak said.

He said, however, that they will continue to work on the documentary and regulatory requirements for the project.

The DOH Central Visayas earlier refused to endorse and issue a permit to proceed for the proposed project, saying the project site is not suitable for a cemetery as it is near a river.

The Cebu City Government hatched the plan to build a new cemetery in June, when coronavirus infections and critical care utilization rate sharply increased in Cebu City.

With the help of the national government, the Cebu City Government has since contained the epidemic.

Tumulak said the existing cemeteries in Cebu City can accommodate additional mortalities.

To avoid another surge in Covid-19 cases, Tumulak urged the public to continue observing minimum health protocols such as wearing of masks and face shields in public transport units and public areas, physical distancing and frequent hand washing. (JJL)


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