Jared Limquiaco, head of the Cebu City Business Permit and Licensing Office, has recommended to the CLO the issuance of closure order due to the complaints their office has received against the illegal cemetery.
Manila Public Information Office/Released
City Hall shuts down ‘illegal’ cemetery in Pardo
Mary Ruth R. Malinao, Alicia Ivy L. Chua (The Freeman) - October 24, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — A little over a week before All Saint’s Day, the Cebu City Legal Office (CLO) has ordered the closure of a private cemetery allegedly operating without permit across a public cemetery in Barangay Pardo.

Jared Limquiaco, head of the Cebu City Business Permit and Licensing Office, has recommended to the CLO the issuance of closure order due to the complaints their office has received against the illegal cemetery.

Limquiaco stated that after a series of ocular inspections and a clarificatory conference, it was determined that the site was indeed used as a cemetery without the necessary permits from the city.

Limquiaco, however, said the owner/s of the private cemetery could not be found.

In a letter dated October 21, the CLO stated that a closure order is appropriate for establishments that fail and continue to fail to secure the required permits.

“Section 455 of the Local Government Code provides that the mayor shall require owners of illegally constructed houses, buildings or other structures to obtain the necessary permit, subject to such fines and penalties as may be imposed by law or ordinance,” the letter read.

However, CLO stressed that in the exercise of such functions, “utmost observance of due process such as sending the sending out or posting of the necessary public notice for all the interesting parties within a reasonable period is enjoined.”

“Thereafter, a closure order may well be enforced accordingly,” the letter read further.

Mayor Edgardo Labella said that the people who run the private cemetery are required to explain its operation.

“If it is a health hazard, pursuant to the general welfare under Section 16 of the Local Government Code, it is my duty to protect the health of our residents in the city,” he said.

To recall, Labella issued an executive order directing the BPLO and the City Treasurer’s Office to process the payment, processing, and releasing of final permits, clearances, and other licenses within one working day from submission of complete and accurate requirements.

Labella  stated in his EO that the BPLO shall issue a business permit to the applicant who has complied with the following requirements: filled-out application form, assessment sheet with official receipt of payment, original barangay clearance certificate with official receipt, STI/SEC certificate of registration and articles of incorporation, certificate of property holdings if lessor, community tax certificates of business and its employees, occupational tax or professional tax of employees, and notarized undertaking to comply with all other regulatory requirements within 60 days from receipt of business permit.

All these were not complied with by the private cemetery’s operators.

Deployed to clean

Meanwhile, Cebu City’s Department of Public Services has deployed cleaners to different cemeteries in preparation for the upcoming All Saints’ Day and Souls’ Day.

DPS has started the cleanup in public and private cemeteries including those in Talamban, Calamba, Carreta, Mabolo, and Labangon.

More than 200 street cleaners have been tasked to prioritize the cemeteries.

In Pardo alone, three truckloads of garbage had been collected, mostly consisting of plastic trash, broken gravestone, and sheds of broken glasses.

To maintain the cleanliness, DPS head Joel Biton requests the public: “No matter how hard we clean, the vicinity gets dirty sooner or later. So we urge the residents and revelers not to indiscriminately throw their garbage anywhere.”

The DPS has also assigned people to guard hotspot areas and apprehend the violators on the rule on proper disposal of trash.

Fines or community service will be charged against the violators.

Meanwhile, the department is still deciding on where to install the 100 available portable toilets.

Aside from the cleanup, the DPS has also set up new light bulbs for the posts at the cemeteries.  JMD (FREEMAN)

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