Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman has filed in Congress a proposed measure mandating all cities and municipalities with considerable Muslim populations to establish their own Muslim public cemeteries.
House Bill No. 3755 titled Muslim Filipino Public Cemeteries Act seeks to require all local government units to allocate land depending on the size of their Filipino Muslim populations for the construction of public cemeteries for Muslims.
“It is our faith that once a Muslim dies, he or she should be buried within 24 hours,” he said.
“The difficulty to find an available cemetery adds to our burden of grief,” he lamented.
The total population of Muslim Filipinos reached around 12.7 million, according to data from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos with hundreds of thousands in all of the regions save for CAR, which has a Muslim population of 39,5, Hataman said.
Under HB 3755, all cities and municipalities within BARMM are required to allocate a minimum of two hectares of suitable land as public cemeteries for Muslim Filipinos.
For Metro Manila, the bill requires at least 3,000 square meters of suitable lands to be used as Muslim cemeteries for each local government, but may procure property outside of Metro Manila within reasonable traveling distance for the purpose.
Metro Manila has over 500,000 Muslim brothers, he said, adding the Taguig City Muslim Cemetery and Cultural Hall in the City of Manila are already over-congested as well as the Norzagaray Muslim Cemetery in Bulacan and Montalban Islamic Cemetery in Rizal.