CBCP official: Gov't should build add'l cemeteries to address overcrowding

November 3, 2012 10:23 am 

MANILA, Nov. 2 — An official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said the government should develop more public cemeteries to address overcrowding in the country's graveyards.

Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III, CBCP Media Office director, said such problem is not only the concern of the Catholic Church but also by other sectors in society.

“The government or even private entrepreneurs should build more cemeteries because this is not only the Church’s concern but society's concern,” he said.

The CBCP official noted the multi-level niches in most of the country’s public cemeteries.

However, Quitorio said such problem is not easy to find a solution to especially if there’s opposition from the community.

With this, he cited his experience when he was still assigned as priest in Samar when they thought of building their own cemetery.

“We were having difficulty building our own (cemetery) because of the belief of the people in our place that if you build a cemetery, more people will die. That’s why even if the cemetery was overcrowded that time people were opposing it (our plan),” Quitorio said.

He added the problem was addressed when government put up another cemetery but it took so long before it was done.

Earlier, retired Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz cited overcrowding in cemeteries as one of the reasons why cremation is gaining popularity among Filipinos.

“It is becoming more convenient to go to a columbarium, where the ashes are deposited, instead of going to the cemetery with the traffic,” he said.

Cruz added, “There’s also a question of space in the cemetery. There is less and less space that’s why they are now trying to put up this multi-leveled burial sites up to 14 layers, but how do you visit your dead in the 14th floor if there are no stairs?” (PNA)

HBC/FGP/UTB

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