Bill wants state-run crematories in PH
MANILA, Philippines – AKO Bicol Representatives Rodel Batocabe, Alfredo Garbin Jr, and Christopher Co are pushing for a bill that would create state-run crematories in every legislative district in the country.
The 3 legislators filed House Bill Number 135 or the “Accessible Crematories Act.”
Under the bill, “secured, clean, and adequately-equipped” crematories in each legislative district would be established and operated mainly by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and other concerned agencies.
Each crematory would have reusable metal coffins that indigent surviving relatives of the deceased may use for a funeral prior to the cremation.
The bill would also provide poor Filipinos with a “socialized fee structure” to help them avail of the cremation services for their deceased loved ones for free.
In their explanatory note, Batocabe, Garbin, and Co said they filed the bill to offer an alternative to the more costly traditional burial rites in the Philippines. (WATCH: The cost of dying in PH)
“With subsidized cremation costs, the government can ensure the affordable and accessible burial services for our people. Suffice it to state, this is a social justice measure wherein the poor and marginalized will also be given equal access to social services even until their deaths,” they said.
“[Based on] 2015 data, a memorial lot costs at least P70,000, with an additional amount of at least P25,000 for the interment, including the casket. In addition, public cemeteries require renewal fees which could lead to disposal of the remains if the surviving family defaults on payment,” added the lawmakers. (READ: Funeral services in numbers)
According to Batocabe, Garbin, and Co, switching to cremation may also decongest cemeteries during All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day, when Filipinos usually flock to burial sites to visit their dead relatives.
“Moreover, this measure will also channel the use of our lands to more productive use such as for agricultural, residential and industrial purposes and/or uses,” they said.
Full text of HB Number 135 below: