Saturday, July 11, 2009

Morbid Matters

Michael Jackson has died, but there is yet no final resting place for him.
There is talk about having the global pop icon buried in his erstwhile Neverland Ranch, which Michael Jackson owned and transformed into a fantasy land.
It is private property.
There are rules to be followed before one can be buried in a place other than cemetery.
In Santa Barbara California , there is an application to be filed, and payment of four hundred dollars.
The other requirement is the approval by the local county, or the governing local council.
With these thoughts, I sought to learn the rules in the Philippines on burying our dead.
Our country forbids burying the dead in places other than those designated by law.
The governing law on burial of the dead, I learned, is Presidential Decree No. 856, known as the Sanitation Code.
The implementing rules of this law was promulgated in 1996.
The specific question in my mind is: can a body or remains be buried in a private place, other than a cemetery, like in a backyard?
The answer is yes, it is possible.
There are of course, certain requirements.
Keep in mind that disposal of the dead is a health issue, as far as the state is concerned.
That is why the law that governs it is the “sanitation code.”
First, any burial ground must be 25 meters away from any dwelling house.
The law also requires that no burial ground shall be located within 50 meters from either side of a river, or within 50 meters from any source of water supply.
So you cannot have a private burial ground near the Banica or Okoy rivers.
Those who wish to have a private burial ground must have clearance from the Department of Health.
To secure this clearance, there are many documentary requirements to be submitted.
First, there must be a resolution by the city council permitting the establishment of such private burial ground.
Aside from the city council, there must be certifications to be issued by the city planning, and the city engineers office.
The size of the private burial ground should be at least 1.2 hectares.
It must have a 50 meter-buffer zone around the niche, or the space for interment.
The law requires that burial shall be limited to 10 niches.
The niches should occupy an area not more than 30 square meters, to be located at the center of the proposed site.
These are just some of the requirements in order to have a private burial ground, other than a cemetery.
Here in the Philippines , to have a private burial ground would virtually take eternity.
Considering the usual government red tape, the soul of the deceased would perhaps already be at St. Peter’s gates, and the private burial ground would still be awaiting approval.
It is good Michael Jackson is not to be buried in the Philippines .
For in such case, perhaps his remains would have already decomposed in “Thriller”-like form, and the permit would still be hanging.

No comments: