BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
With the closure of the Burgos Public Cemetery, the Bacolod City government is seeking help from lot owners who are willing to donate their properties to be the next burial site.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia admitted that it is not easy to look for a lot where they will construct the city’s new burial site but stressed that there is a need to shut down the Burgos public cemetery.
Leonardia said the Burgos public cemetery is already crowded and can no longer accommodate new interments, having been in existence even before Bacolod became a chartered city until now. Its population is already over 600,000.
For the meantime, the public cemeteries in barangays Handumanan, Granada, and Sum-ag are available and can be used while those who can afford it could get memorial lots, he said.
Speculations loomed that the closure of the Burgos Public Cemetery is a prelude to the sale of the lot where it is situated to private firms for development.
But Leonardia said they never thought of selling the Burgos Public Cemetery and maybe those who are speculating are the ones who are entertaining the idea.
The mayor added that they are looking into the possibility of rehabilitating the Burgos cemetery, so it may be used again in the future and would like to study the rehabilitation plan of Mandaluyong City where it converted its old burial site into a columbarium.
City General Services Office head Jerome Solinap earlier said that if the plan pushes through, remains in old niches, especially those dated five years and over will be exhumed and transferred to the columbarium.
The GSO, meanwhile, is verifying with the Bacolod Housing Authority if illegal settlers in the Burgos Cemetery are qualified for housing units at the city’s relocation sites. The city government already gave the illegal settlers 15 days to vacate the cemetery as they are no longer allowed there.*