Crematorium eyed in GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/01 November)– The city government is planning to establish its own crematorium in a bid to offer residents with a more affordable burial alternative for their deceased family members and relatives.

Mary Ann Bacar, City Housing and Land Management Office (CHLMO) head, said Friday they are set to conduct a study to determine the requirements and the viability of building such facility.

She said they are eyeing to establish the crematorium within the Antonio C. Acharon Memorial Park (formerly Uhaw public cemetery) in Barangay Fatima that is being supervised by the CHLMO.

Bacar said the proposed project initially received positive feedback from some residents and city officials, including Mayor Ronnel Rivera.

“It (cremation) has been gaining acceptance from residents as an alternative to the traditional burial practices,” she said.

The official said there were a number of local residents who had opted for cremation and tapped the services of crematoriums based in Davao City, which is a three-hour drive from this city.

She said these mostly involved wealthy families due to the high cost of bringing the deceased to Davao City.

But Bacar said that if the city government would be able to establish its own crematorium, it would mainly benefit poor residents in the area.

“Our poor families will save a lot as they will only need to spend P5,000 to P10,000 for the cremation services. It is way cheaper when compared to the traditional burial methods,” she said.

She said such figures were based on estimates made by a crematorium service provider that earlier offered to assist the local government in developing the project.

Bacar said the opening of a crematorium will not significantly affect the operations of local funeral parlors as they could still offer casket rentals.

She added that the city government may eventually offer cremation services not only to local residents but those from other areas in Region 12 as well.

Also known as Soccsksargen, the region comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato. (MindaNews)