Tacloban officials during the closing of Basper temporary gravesite in Tacloban. Photo courtesy Tecson John Lim

MANILA Philippines-After getting a go signal from Department of Health and National Bureau of Investigation, the city government of Tacloban has closed the temporary grave site at Brgy. Basper, about 10 kilometers away from the city.

“At least one thing is over and done with before the year ends today,” said administrator Atty. Tecson John  Lim on the need to close the said grave site on Tuesday.

The Basper gravesite will be closed  until such time as the NBI and DOH should have them exhumed for processing in accordance to the WHO and ICRC protocols for Management of Dead Persons after Disasters, Lim added.

“ In fairness to the NBI and DOH and all those involved, the WHO is now planning to amend such protocols in light of their experiences here,” Lim also announced in his social media account.

About 800 bodies were buried in Basper.

“One more to dig and close at Brgy. Suhi pending processing,” Lim added.

Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez and his cousin Leyte 1st district Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez oversaw the closing of the gravesite.

The death toll incurred by super typhoon Yolanda, seven weeks after it slammed Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas remained at 6,155  with the National Risk Reduction and Management council posting no significant changes in its situational report as of Tuesday on the eve of New Year’s Day.

“DOH has agreed with DOJ and NBI to bury immediately those cadavers still exposed and for them to expedite identification.Government will do what is needed to accord due respect to the remains of the victims and give them a decent burial,” Presidential Communications Operation chief Sonny Coloma also said.