With cremation gaining popularity among bereaved families of Filipinos who die every year, partylist congressmen are calling for the enactment of a measure for the construction of a public crematory in every congressional district in the country.
Ako Bicol Partylist Reps. Rodel Batocabe, Alfredo Garbin and Christopher Co filed House Bill 135 directing the Department of Social Welfare and Development to put up cremation facilities to help families of deceased Filipinos, especially the poor, face the restrictive cost of dying in the country.
Earlier, leaders of the Catholic church noted that while cremation is gaining popularity in the country, the high cost of the burial option is not available to poor families.
“It’s gaining popularity…more so from Class A and B. It’s supposed to be cheaper (compared to burial) but here in our country it’s not. Most of those who avail of this are those who can afford,” Fr. Roy Bellen of the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communication told a media interview.
The Catholic church has also issued guidelines to families with deceased relatives who are to be cremated.
Catholics are reminded not to keep urns containing ashes at home. They are also prohibited from scattering ashes of the dead in the sea or dividing them among family members.
“The Church allows cremation provided the basic Christian tenets will not be compromised,” Bellen said.
Batobe stressed that since cremation has become an accepted burial practice, government should help assuage the grief of ordinary families by reducing their worries on high funeral expenses.
The Ako Bicol lawmakers noted that cremation is “generally cheaper than the traditional burial rite.”
“In a 2015 data, a memorial lot costs at least P70,000 with an additional amount of P25,000 for the interment including the casket,” they noted. (BEN R. ROSARIO)