City Budget Officer Francisco Mendoza, who heads the Tombstone Committee, said that his group is now in site selection process to determine where the P165-M facility shall be put up.
The putting up of public cemetery is indicated in the Local Government Code under the basic services provisions.
“There are at least 4 properties from which we are going to choose. We select based on how much the total development will cost us since there are properties whose purchase price costs less but would turn out later to be more expensive because of certain factors such as expenses for site development and dumping of fill up materials to satisfy basic engineering standards and avoid flooding in the future,” he said.
Unlike the old public cemetery, the new one will operate in accordance with the standards indicated in the Cemetery Guideline of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), Sanitation Code of the Philippines, National Building Code and Environmental Compliance Certificate of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The estimated construction cost by the City Engineer’s Office (CEO), according to Mendoza, could be inadequate and may increase to P200-M as there are criteria that should be followed in its construction.
The budget officer assured that the city is in good fiscal position to finance the multimillion-peso project.
The guidelines being implemented under such government standards require that roads should be constructed on both sides of the planned cemetery where lateral roads or pathways should be 4 meters in width.
Tombs, which should maintain a certain distance from each other, should be constructed 60 meters away from the nearest roadway. Apartment-type tombs should be reinforced concrete, not made of hollow blocks.
The blueprint of the project also shows an administration building and concrete fence; Streetlights installed at least every 50 meters, a guardhouse, comfort rooms, and a common service area. The public cemetery shall be manned by City Hall personnel.
Other criteria require that the cemetery should be constructed with a setback of 5 meters from the main road and 25 meters from residential area. (by Jason B. Neola)