At the Manila North Cemetery, a grave can be rented for five years.
Daniel Tan, the cemetery’s administrator, said the fee is P600, which covers an apartment-style niche and a tombstone.
The tombs come in different colors, depending on the family's request.
Once the five-year contract expires, the bones of the dead will be dug up and removed.
Tan said the management notifies the dead’s next of kin before the “lease contract” expires. Most of the remains are subsequently transferred to other cemeteries, or in the case of those with no claimants buried in mass graves inside the cemetery.
Contracts are non-renewable, Tan added.
After the tombs have been cleared of their previous occupants, these are renovated and restored for new users.
Burials inside Manila North Cemetery have been suspended from October 30 to November 2 to avoid overcrowding during the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
Some 1.8 million people are expected to visit the 54-hectare Manila North Cemetery on All Saints’ Day.
Vehicles will not be allowed to enter the cemetery from October 30 to November 2. On November 1, Gates 2 and 3 along Bonifacio Avenue will be opened from 10 a.m., but may be used only by those going out of the cemetery.
Tan reminded visitors that the last day for cleaning and repainting is on Monday, October 29. Burning garbage inside the cemetery is strictly prohibited.
He also advised the public of the usual prohibitions such as bringing of firearms and bladed weapons, such as knives and ice picks, and flammable materials like lighters, alcohol and gas. Sound systems, gambling equipment and alcoholic drinks are also not allowed.