BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance establishing a public mortuary in every district in the city and providing the necessary funds for the said purpose.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that it will be a declared policy of the local government to offer indigent families of the deceased the opportunity to mourn the passing and honor their departed over ones with dignity and respect.
The ordinance mandated the City Planning and Development Office in coordination with the City Engineering Office to conduct a study and ocular inspection for the determination of the appropriate sites for the establishment of mortuary sites or locations where the public mortuary in every district shall be established.
Further, the said offices shall submit their consolidated recommendations to the City Mayor’s Office for approval and subsequent implementation.
On the other hand, the City Engineering Office was also tasked to make the necessary plans and cost estimates for the erection of mortuaries with one viewing room per district.
After the receipt of the prepared plans and cost estimates, the ordinance stipulated that the City Budget office shall subsequently allocate from existing infrastructure and whatever available budget of the city the amount necessary for the implementation of the project or include the cost of the project in the city’s annual or supplemental budgetary appropriations to the year immediately succeeding the date of approval of the pending measure.
When the funds are made available, the ordinance stated that the City Engineering Office shall immediately prosecute the construction of the said structures pursuant to existing rules and regulations for the realization of the proposed public mortuaries in every district of the city.
The ordinance explained that the City Social Welfare and Development Office, City Health Services office and the Liga ng mga Barangay shall implement and formulate the corresponding implementing rules and regulations for the effective and efficient utilization of the public mortuaries in the different districts in the city.
Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local government code of the Philippines provided that the local government units are empowered to exercise powers which are essential for the promotion of the general welfare, to ensure and support the promotion of health and safety among its inhabitants and to preserve the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants.
Yangot claimed that it has been observed that there were some indigent families in the different parts of the city who opted to rest the coffin of their deceased love ones outside their houses because they either lack the space or they are merely lessees and their landlords do not allow them to hold wakes within their homes or they are just in desperate need of finances to defray the expenses of a funeral home service.
He asserted that typically, wakes would last for five to seven nights and sometimes extend beyond the expiration of the embalming treatment which possess health risks not to mention that the embalming chemical itself is highly toxic aside from the fact that wakes do normally block streets causing inconvenience to both passers-by and residents within the vicinity of the said places.
By Dexter A. See