DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte clarified on Friday that a city-owned crematorium will not be among the City Government's priorities this year.

During the department heads meeting Monday, it was discussed that P50 million has been set for the construction of a crematorium on a 9,239 square meters city-owned lot in Bago Oshiro, Mintal, Davao City.

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Duterte clarified that she has not given her approval of said project."All department heads were already informed that only the city mayor, the city information officer can speak for the City Government. The crematorium interview was unauthorized by the CMO," Duterte said through text.

Duterte said she will not approve the project if no thorough studies on the cemeteries in the city will be made.

"Before we say there is a lack of space: one, there should be an inventory of all the cemeteries of the city; two, there should be an assessment of the burial capacity of these properties; three, if there is a need," Duterte said.

"Four, assessment on whether a burial space or a crematorium is appropriate by studying the data of deaths in the past (five to ten years) and the preference how they were buried, (specifically) if the percentage (preferring) the mode of cremation is high; five, the cost benefit analysis beside that percentage, how much investment should be allotted to a crematorium, giving importance in its ability to service the loan and become profitable for the city in the future," she added.

Duterte said these factors were not addressed properly thus, her objection.

"If someone can efficiently answer my questions, then I will consider that P50 million crematorium, otherwise, that project is on hold," Duterte said.

The first supplemental budget of the City Government for calendar year 2009, which consists of the budgets under the general fund and the development fund, did allot P50 million to a project dubbed Cemetery Improvement and Establishment of the City Crematorium Project as among the City's Prime Pumping Programs and Projects (CPPP).

Also detailed among the CPPP in the first supplemental budget in 2009 are the Traffic Signalization Phase III, Environmental Management Program, Acquisition and Development of Relocation Sites under the City Shelter Program, and the Infrastructure Program which is divided among New Infrastructure Projects and the Road Improvement and Maintenance Program. (Jade C. Zaldivar)