Ba­colod SP approves ceme­tery or­di­nance

Sun Star Bacolod - - Top Stories -

AU­THORED by Coun­cilor Wil­son Gamboa, Jr., the Ba­colod Sang­gu­ni­ang Pan­lung­sod (SP) ap­proved last June 26, 2019 an or­di­nance de­tail­ing the man­age­ment of ceme­ter­ies owned by the City Gov­ern­ment in terms of eas­ing con­ges­tion, health and san­i­ta­tion prac­tices, as­sign­ment and list­ing of buri­als and in­sti­tu­tion­al­iz­ing a sys­tem of pro­cess­ing and pro­ce­dures for the proper dis­posal of the dead.

This re­cently ap­proved Or­di­nance known as "Ba­colod City Owned Ceme­ter­ies Sys­tem Or­di­nance," shall al­lo­cate burial area or space in ev­ery city owned pub­lic ceme­tery for Mus­lims and shall be op­er­ated in ac­cor­dance to the Is­lamic Faith and/or Is­lamic burial guidelines.

Gamboa said that the Ceme­tery Sys­tems and Guidelines Or­di­nance likewise fol­lows another re­lated City Or­di­nance no. 08-16-777 also au­thored by him which was ap­proved last June 17, 2016, and known as “An Or­di­nance Cre­at­ing the Ba­colod City Owned Ceme­tery Reg­u­la­tory Board.”

This or­di­nance was crafted be­cause the City of Ba­colod owned ceme­ter­ies have no ex­ist­ing leg­is­la­tion for its op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance that will en­sure the proper im­ple­men­ta­tion of Im­ple­ment­ing Rules and Reg­u­la­tions of Chap­ter XXI- “Dis­posal of Dead Per­sons” of the Code on San­i­ta­tion of the Philip­pines (P.D. 856).

Ab­sence of ex­ist­ing sys­tems and guidelines re­sulted to nu­mer­ous com­plaints and news re­ports re­gard­ing con­ges­tions, tombs and niches are in a topsy-turvy ar­range­ment, niches are open and tomb­stones are re­placed with­out prior no­tice and per­mis­sion, pres­ence of un­col­lected and un­seg­re­gated garbage piled and are scat­tered along path­ways and sides of niches and there are in­for­mal set­tlers in­side with no pub­lic toi­let, among oth­ers.

Said sys­tem and guidelines or­di­nance mean­time de­tailed among oth­ers that un­der the man­age­ment of var­i­ous city gov­ern­ment of­fices, the manda­tory ex­huma­tion of the dead af­ter five years, with the ex­cep­tion of those buried with con­ta­gious dis­eases, will strictly be im­ple­mented af­ter pay­ment of fees of P3,000.00 cov­er­ing five years buried, P2,000.00 for chil­dren, ex­huma­tion per­mit of P100.00 and ex­huma­tion fee of P1,000.00 to be paid to the City Trea­surer.

For those who de­cide to con­struct “Float­ing Niches”, the first user shall pay P1,000.00, the niche shall be con­structed at the expense of the fam­ily/client sub­ject to rules, and the niche shall be­come the prop­erty of the City af­ter the five-year pe­riod when the ex­huma­tion shall be manda­tory; the second and sub­se­quent user shall pay P3,000.00 cov­er­ing a pe­riod of five years.

Lead agency to im­ple­ment this Or­di­nance is the Gen­eral Ser­vices Of­fice which shall man­age, among oth­ers, the sched­ul­ing of buri­als, the record­ing and in­ven­tory of buri­als, prepa­ra­tion of state­ment of ac­counts for due rentals, the sched­ul­ing and con­duct ex­huma­tion, and sub­mis­sion of ac­com­plish­ment re­port to the City Plan­ning Of­fice

Other of­fices in­volved are the City Health Of­fice for the is­suance of Death Cer­tifi­cate; the City Mayor’s Of­fice – Civil Se­cu­rity Unit which shall se­cures ceme­ter­ies against loot­ing and il­le­gal buri­als; the Lo­cal Civil Reg­is­trar, for the Reg­is­tra­tion of Death Cer­tifi­cate and the City Trea­surer’s Of­fice for the col­lec­tion of ap­pro­pri­ates fees

The or­di­nance there­fore en­tails the con­struc­tion of “Bone Boxes”, “Apart­ment Type Niche”, a four storey fa­cil­ity where fresh dead bod­ies are to be buried, “In­di­vid­ual Bone Cham­ber”, a five storey fa­cil­ity where ex­humed ca­dav­ers upon the lapsed of five-year pe­riod is to be in­terred and a “Com­mon Bone Cham­ber/os­suary”, a fa­cil­ity where un­claimed bones are to be re-in­terred with­out cost and those of the choice of the fam­ily.

The city, cited by the or­di­nance, shall al­lo­cate an ini­tial bud­get of at least three mil­lion pe­sos (P3, 000,000.00) from the Gen­eral Ap­pro­pri­a­tion Fund for the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, con­struc­tion of the niches, fa­cil­i­ties and equip­ment’s in­clud­ing op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance of the City Ceme­ter­ies.

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