The Las Piñas City government opened its first-ever operated public crematorium and columbarium on August 4 to serve its residents free of charge.
Mayor Imelda T. Aguilar said the 3-story columbarium has 25,000 vaults in Building 1 that could accommodate four standard urns each.
Aguilar said there are also 11 chapels for viewing and wakes and cremation services which could be availed of free of charge to legitimate city residents.
She said about 2,200 urn vaults are initially available for qualified Las Piñeros who wish to avail of the columbarium space.
“We believe that providing this kind of services in these times is crucial considering the dreaded effects of COVID-19 pandemic that adversely affected our less fortunate residents,” Aguilar added.
The mayor pointed out that the public crematorium and columbarium will be offered to Las Piñeros regardless of the cause of death of their kin provided that their families comply with the requirements to avail of the city’s burial assistance program.
Aguilar said those who died due to COVID-19 could be immediately referred to the city crematorium.
She said the crematorium and columbarium are situated on a 7,000 square-meter area in Barangay Ilaya with safe parking spaces, water, electricity, and clean restrooms.
The road going to the site has been widened and paved for easy access to the facility.
The construction started in 2017 but was temporarily suspended due to budgetary constraint and was resumed in late 2019.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and as part of the measures to address the pandemic, the construction was fast tracked last year.
The public chapels were built to stop the practice of holding wakes on the street, especially in highly populated areas.
The mayor said the public columbarium program will eventually replace the existing burial assistance package given to Las Piñeros.
Aguilar said a member of the bereaved family need only to apply for burial assistance with the City Social Welfare and Development Office. She said the applicant has options either for cremation or traditional burial.
The mayor added that for those who would opt for cremation, the family can also avail of the use of one of the 11 chapels before inurnment at the columbarium.
Aguilar said those who would prefer the traditional burial can still avail of the regular burial assistance.