Archdiocese greenlights City’s plan to construct niches in 2 cemeteries

THE Archdiocese of Cebu has approved the request of the Cebu City Government to build niches in two Catholic cemeteries in Barangays Calamba and Luz for the remains of persons who succumbed to Covid-19.

The City will construct 290 slots in each cemetery after Archbishop Jose Palma gave the go signal, said City Councilor David Tumulak, who was tasked to coordinate with the Archdiocese and cemetery owners.

Tumulak said they are doing this to avoid burying the Covid-19 mortalities in a mass grave.

The City originally asked the Archdiocese to allow the construction of niches in four Catholic cemeteries in Barangays Calamba, Luz, Talamban and Carreta as part of its preparation for the increasing Covid-19 death toll.

The Archdiocese has yet to decide on the request to construct niches in the cemeteries in Talamban and Carreta.

Expenses in constructing the niches will be shouldered by the City, while the management will be handled by the parishes where the cemeteries belong.

Acting Mayor Michael Rama said 85 people died because of Covid-19 in the first 12 days of August, and he expected additional deaths in the remaining 19 days of the month.

The current critical care utilization rate of four public hospitals and 11 private hospitals in Cebu City is at 74.3 percent because 672 of the 904 Covid-19 beds were already occupied.

The vacant 232 beds for Covid-19 cases could not be occupied right away by Covid-19 patients because the hospitals lacked nurses to take care of them.

Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, head of the City Health Department, said Cebu City needs at least 500 nurses to solve the manpower problem in the hospitals. (PAC / KAL)