No vigils in Davao’s flooded public cemetery

By Anthony S. Allada

DAVAO CITY – If we would be talking about the most peaceful cemetery during the observance of “Undas”, then it would be the Panacan Public Cemetery.

Except for the deployed  police and military personnel and volunteers, no one was seen spending the nights starting from October 31 to November 2 to hold a vigil for his/her departed loved ones.

Supt. Royina Garma, chief of the Sasa police station of the Davao City Police Office here, said that the Panacan cemetery was still half-flooded and that electric connection inside the cemetery premises was no longer functional.

“This must be the very reason that we found no one holding a vigil there. Our policemen there were even bored to secure the area when they have nothing to watch over about,” she said.

She said only few people were also seen visiting the place during day time, unlike in other cemeteries and memorial parks.

The Panacan cemetery was closed to further burials by the city government since 2008 for rehabilitation purposes.

It was among the nine public cemeteries to be part of the rehabilitation program to be supervised by the City Economic Enterprises’ cemetery operations.

Aside from Panacan, other public cemeteries are Wireless, Tugbok, Mintal, Calinan, Maa, Toril, Tibungco and Bunawan.

Currently in the works is a rehabilitation program for the Wireless Public Cemetery atop Madapo Hills where P23 million has been estimated as the total budget for its full rehabilitation which will include the construction of 928 niches, 13,248-unit ossuary, common grave areas, administrative buildings, candle lighting stations, road network, landscaping and beautification.

If completed the Wireless Cemetery would resemble a memorial park and would soon reopen for more burials. The cemetery was closed to further burials by the city government in 2008.

Phase 1 of the rehabilitation has already been completed with the construction of a steel gate and fence, 254 units of niches and a 1,368-unit ossuary. About 1,600 graves were temporarily cleared and placed in temporary bone deposition area.

Next to Wireless, Panacan and Toril cemeteries will be rehabilitated. (ASA)




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