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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 November, 2003, 01:02 GMT
Manila considers vertical burials
Grave in cemetery
Overcrowding is a problem in Manila's cemeteries
A senior local government official in the Philippines has suggested that the dead should be buried in a vertical position because the biggest cemetery in the capital Manila has run out of space.

The head of the city's health department, Dr Florencio Baltazar, said the move would enable three corpses to be buried in the space currently occupied by one.

He said the idea would help ease the situation in the congested cemeteries, and should be considered by the city council.

The proposal was made as Filipinos gathered in cemeteries around the country on Saturday to remember their dead on the Christian festival of All Soul's.

Correspondents say Manila's four main cemeteries have become so crowded that only their entrances are free of tombs.

The problem is particularly acute in Manila North, which has been a burial place since 1904.

The 54-hectare site is currently home to "millions" of dead, said Dr Baltazar, who also administers the city's public cemeteries.

An average of 70-80 bodies were buried there a week, he added.

Country profile: The Philippines
09 Jul 03  |  Country profiles


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