MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/09 February) – The Malaybalay City Council has endorsed a proposal to build a Muslim cemetery in a village here, Councilor Roland Deticio said.
If approved, the cemetery would be the first of its kind in the province.
Deticio said Merilou Limeterez, who donated a 1.3-hectare land in Barangay Cabangahan for the cemetery, appeared at the council after the City Health Office asked her to get an endorsement.
Limeterez is a Balik Islam or an Islam convert.
Councilor Bob Roberto Casanova asked if the proponent had secured an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) which is a requirement in operating a graveyard.
Limeterez said the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued a “certificate of non-compliance,” which states that they don’t need to get an ECC because the proposed burial ground does not exceed five hectares.
Detecio said the proposal needs to be evaluated by the City Health Office even if the council had already endorsed it.
He said Limeterez told the council that the move would finally provide Muslims residing here a decent burial site.
Most of the Muslims in the city are Maranaos from Lanao del Sur. If a relative dies, they would bring the body back to his her original place.
Limeterez said the proposed cemetery is a welcome development for converts and Muslims who can’t afford to bring their dead home. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)