By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Bacolod City Sangguniang Panlungsod recently approved the “Bacolod City-Owned Cemeteries System Ordinance,” which details how city-run cemeteries are to be managed and touches upon issues including the easing of congestion, health and sanitation practices, assigning and listing burials, and formalizing a system of processing and procedures for the proper disposal of the dead.
The ordinance, which was authored by Bacolod City Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr., is a follow-up to an earlier policy that created the Cemetery Regulatory Board.
Gamboa said the ordinance was introduced in response to a lack of systems and guidelines, which has prompted complaints and news reports regarding congestion, “topsy-turvy” arrangements of graves, the unauthorized opening of tombstones, piled-up garbage, informal settlers, among other issues.
The initial budget is quoted at P3 million, which is expected to be sourced from the general appropriation fund and used to construct niche graves, along with maintenance costs.
The ordinance also allocates burial space specifically for Muslims, which will be governed under Islamic funeral customs and rituals.
Meanwhile, the policy will also strictly implement the collection of fees for costs associated with mandatory exhumation, along with the construction of “floating” niche graves./DGB, WDJ