The Municipality of Murcia conducted the groundbreaking ceremonies for the new public cemetery at Brgy. Caliban and the sanitary landfill at Brgy. Cansilayan last Tuesday, February 15.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose “Bong” Lacson and 3rd District Board Member Manuel Frederick “Manman” Ko were the guests of honor during the rites, which were led by Murcia Mayor Gerry Rojas, Vice-Mayor Johnny Reosura and Sangguniang Bayan Members, with the department heads, barangay officials and other guests in attendance.
“Congratulations to Mayor Gerry Rojas and other town officials for these milestone achievements, which can tremendously benefit Murciahanons. Rest assured that the provincial government is always willing and ready to help in Murcia’s continued development,” said Gov. Lacson.
He also congratulated the mayor for procuring the two properties at easy payments terms for the town, as the new cemetery is near the town proper and along the national highway, while the landfill site was purchased and already fully paid without the town having to secure a bank loan.
BM Ko also congratulated Mayor Rojas and all Murcia officials for the two major projects. “With these two projects and all your other accomplishments in your first term, you have lived up to your slogan of ‘Paspas, Asenso Murcia’. You have proven to Murciahanons that they were correct in choosing you last 2019 to lead the town. You still have two terms or six years more to serve. I am confident that, when you finish your three terms, the landscape of Murcia will be greatly improved,” said BM Ko.
For his part, Mayor Rojas thanked Vice-Mayor Reosura, the SB Members, barangay officials and all Murciahanons for their trust, support and cooperation, which enabled his administration to accomplish these significant projects for the benefit of Murciahanons.
He also expressed his gratitude to Gov. Lacson, BM Ko, 3rd District Rep. Francisco “Kiko” Benitez and other officials for their support and assistance to his administration.
“This new cemetery is a dream-come-true for Murcahanons. I have been in public service for the past 17 ½ years now. Even when I was still a town councilor, the problem of the congested public cemetery has been existing. Under this administration, we now break ground for this new cemetery, which can provide a decent resting place for the remains of our loved ones,” Rojas said.
The mayor also thanked Joseph Lufkin and the Dela Peňa family for selling, at a very fair price and easy payment terms, their properties for the cemetery and landfill, respectively.
Rojas disclosed that the five-hectare cemetery site was owned by American Joseph Lufkin, who used to live in the area and play polo on the property. When Lufkin’s wife died, he moved to Manila and offered the lot for sale. There were no takers for about 12 years. When Rojas got elected as mayor, he talked to Lufkin, who agreed to sell the property. Half the price was already paid, while the balance will be paid this year.
As to the 5.5-hectare landfill property, Rojas started looking for a site when he became mayor, because the sanitary landfill is mandated by law for all LGUs.
Murcia used to dump its wastes in the Hilado family’s property, but during the term of the previous mayor, the Hilado heirs said that they now need the property for other purposes.
He thanked the Dela Peňa family for selling the property in Brgy. Cansilayan to the town. The purchase price has now been fully paid, without the LGU having to secure a loan.
According to the mayor, the cemetery will include a chapel and a forest park. The town also donated 3,000 sqm at the site for the Brgy. Caliban Barangay Hall and Covered Court, which will start construction very soon. As to the landfill area, Rojas plans to develop the site with a water treatment system and forest park, and construct a motorpool for the repair, maintenance and safekeeping of the town’s vehicles.
“Under the leadership of Mayor Gerry Rojas, with the cooperation of our SB Members under my term as Vice-Mayor, and with the support of our provincial and barangay officials, we witnessed that this administration can and has made a difference. With these accomplishments, we can look forward to a more beautiful, more progressive Murcia after the end of our three terms,” VM Reosura assured Murciahanons.* (Butch Bacaoco)