Lack of requirements stalls public cemetery project

·2 min read

THE refusal of Barangay Sapangdaku to issue a certificate of no objection to the Cebu City Government has contributed to the delay of the construction of the public cemetery in the area.

The certificate is one of the requirements so the project can proceed, according to Editha Peros, City Environment and Natural Resources Office head.

However, she said, some residents living in a subdivision near the proposed site are against the project.

In July, they launched a signature campaign that raised two concerns: the possible contamination of their water supply and the narrow road going to the area.

Peros pointed out that the signature campaign was launched weeks after the public hearing on the project was conducted.

Meanwhile, Peros said the project is dogged with other problems.

Its Department of Environment and Natural Resources Special Land Use Permit application still needs to go through the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, she said.

The City also needs to secure an environmental compliance certificate from the Environmental Management Bureau 7 and clearance from the Department of Health (DOH) 7.

The DOH 7 has not given the project the go-ahead because the proposed site is near a river and it is prone to landslides.

DOH 7 spokesperson Mary Jean Loreche said the agency and city officials have yet to meet to discuss the project.

City Planning Head Joel Reston assured that the project would push through.

The spike in deaths due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) last June prompted the City Government to establish a new cemetery as existing cemeteries in the city were congested during that period.

The situation has changed since then, according to City Councilor Dave Tumulak.

“As of now, the situation in our cemeteries is normal. Many bodies have been exhumed. Usually, this is done after five years and new bodies are buried in their place,” Tumulak said.

He also said that the number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 has fallen with the doubling time for mortalities slowing down to an average of 23.27 days. (JJL)