Several lawmakers over the weekend pushed for the immediate passage of a bill seeking to establish state-owned crematorium facilities in all legislative districts in the Philippines.
AKO Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe, along with Reps. Alfredo Garbin and Christopher Co, authored House Bill (HB) 135 or the “Accessible Crematories Act” to provide an affordable interment option to all Filipinos, especially the poor, which will be managed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
“The cost of dying is getting prohibitive and getting competitive with the cost of living. Establishing crematorium facilities will operationalize a socialized fee structure, enabling the marginalized sector and the indigents to avail of the crematorium services fee” Batocabe said.
Batocabe said the congestion of cemeteries will once again be witnessed during this year’s observance of All Saints’ Day.
On the average, a traditional burial costs around P100,000. Of this amount, P70,000 is alloted for the memorial lot and an additional P25,000 is spent for the interment and casket of the deceased.
“There is an estimated 6.1 deaths per 1,000 population per year in the Philippines, according to the US CIA website’s World Factbook. If we multiply this by our current population estimates, that’s around 610,000 deaths per year. This number of deaths naturally would require a large area of land to accommodate the burial of the bodies,” the lawmaker noted.
Batocabe said it is prudent for the country to push for 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.”
Earlier this week, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith released new guidelines on cremation, noting that the family of the deceased should not scatter the remains at sea or on land and, instead, must store them in a sacred place such as a cemetery.