Friday, January 05, 2007

A multi million columbarium in NegOr

A multi-million peso privately-run columbarium is quietly being constructed right in the church grounds of Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish in the town of Valencia, Negros Oriental.
From the reports that we received, the construction of this spanking columbarium resulted from a memorandum of agreement between the Diocese of Dumaguete and a private group headed by Constancio Sia.
The Diocese of Dumaguete is involved because it owns the land where the columbarium is to be constructed, which is located within the premises of the Valencia parish church.
I have to admit, I was ignorant about what a columbarium is until I stumbled into this in Valencia.
A columbarium has been defined a place for the respectful and usually public storage of cinerary urns (i.e. urns holding a deceased’s cremated remains).
So after the remains of a dead person is cremated, it is reduced into ashes, and has to be stored in some placed where the living would pay respects.
The ashes are placed in what is called a columbarium.
In Valencia, aside from the columbarium, what are to be contructed are usuary park, plus adoration chapel.
The idea is to offer these mini "memorial plots" commercially to private persons who may be interested.
Apparently, it is on "pre-selling" mode because the columbarium has not yet been completed.
As of this writing what has been done on the land area is levelling of the ground, and the construction of the cemented fence.
There is only one columbarium that I know that exists in Negros Oriental, and that is the one inside the Dumaguete Cathderal, and is being run by the diocese.
The one in Valencia is in partnership with a private entity.
When I was in Valencia during the holidays, the residents have no idea what is being done on the parish premises, although there is a big board showing the proposed construction of the columbarium, usuarry park and adoration chapel.
Obviously, the columbarium caters to the well-to-do families, and those who have relatives working abroad because each plot costs thousands of pesos.
What I noticed about this columbarium in Valencia is that it will take up much physical space out of the parish.
The land lays idle, and being church property, is exempt from tax.
But when it becomes income generating, someone has to pay the government its due.


Anonymous said...

There are 87 million people in the Philippines. Almost all of them are Catholics. Each Sunday most of these people attend church and tith an average of 20 pesos.....that is 1.7 BILLION peseos each week or 6.9 BILLION each month. Instead of a shelter for the remains of the departed.....that they make MORE money off of..... Where are the uniforms, books, and shoes for the poor children to go to school.

Jay Dejaresco said...

I don't know how the church uses its money. But for this proposed Valencia Columbarium, its going to be privately run. I don't know the nature of the diocese's participation. I'm afraid there ain't going to be shoes, books nad uniforms derived from this Columbarium. My impression is, its plain business.

grace said...

It's quite a good long term business huh! Looking at it positively, I think it is a good move to answer towering cemeteries where "the departed ones" are buried considering the ever growing population. We have to admit, it is quite practical in terms of space as ashes are a lot smaller than whole human remains, but to be fair, taxes should be imposed since it is a business entity rather than seeing it as a church property which made it exempted from tax. It should be treated like any business in nature we do in Philippines - pay tax. Business is busness and church is church. I think its a battle between the separation between churge and government this time.

BTW, Anonymous, the 87Million Filipinos doesnt live in this area alone, Negros is just one of the 7,107 islands.

Anonymous said...

Having a columbarium in Valencia is another plus and a choice for people.It should be way cheaper than a burial unless the family wanted a permanent space or mini memorial plots . Here in the west cremation is a cheap means to despose remains of a love one ,a burial is massively expensive .