WITH 6.1 million deaths every year, the country already lacks space to bury the dead.
This is the reason why Ako Bicol party-list representatives are pushing for the approval of a measure that will allow the construction of a public crematory in every congressional district.
House Bill 135, filed by Reps. Rodel Batocabe, Alfredo Garbin and Christopher Co, directs the Department of Social Welfare and Development to install cremation facilities to help families of deceased Filipinos, especially the poor, cope with the restrictive cost of dying in the country.
Batocabe urged the House of Representatives to speedily pass the bill which is now in the Committee on Social Services.
“The cost of dying is getting prohibitive and getting competitive with the cost of living,” Batocabe said.
“Establishing crematorium facilities will operationalize a socialized fee structure, enabling the marginalized sector and the indigents to avail of the crematorium services for free,” he added.
The Accessible Crematories Act aims to save poor Filipinos from the costly traditional burial.
The cremation of bodies will significantly reduce the funeral expenses of families of the deceased, as opposed to the traditional burial method.
Next week, Filipinos will observe All Saints Day by visiting their departed loved ones. Many of the cemeteries are already congested.
“What we need is an alternative and more cost-efficient solution for the families who do not have enough money to pay for traditional means of burying their deceased family members,” Batocabe said.
On the average, traditional burial costs amount to around P100,000. Of this amount, P70,000 is for the memorial lot, which may vary depending on the location, plus around P25,000 for interment and the casket.
Even the Vatican City recognizes that many people, even tradition-bound Catholics, are opting for the cost-efficient way of cremating their dead.
Just last week, the Church released guidelines and regulations for members of the faith who want to cremate their deceased family member.
According to the new guidelines, storing of ashes in urns at home or scattering of the remains is prohibited as neither qualifies as a pious practice of putting the dead to rest.
The guidelines instead provided that ashes should be kept in a “sacred place” such as a church cemetery.