By Ben Rosario
Bayan Muna lawmakers want the government to pay for funeral services for deceased members of extremely poor families in the country.
In House Bill 5249, Reps. Carlos Isagani Zarate, Ferdinand Gaite and Eufemia Cullamat also sought the grant of 50 percent discount for funeral services of the dead who come from indigent Filipino families.
The lawmakers jointly filed House Bill 5249 as they noted that in the Philippines, “dying has become as costly as living itself”.
In 2017, the Quezon City council passed an ordinance that sets a P10,000 discount limit in burial benefits for deceased indigent city residents.
“The grant of a discount under this ordinance is without prejudice on the right of the beneficiary to avail of other financial assistance given outside of the Quezon City government,’’ the city ordinance clarified.
In filing HB 5249, the Bayan Muna lawmakers cited a survey conducted by the University of the Philippines School of Urban and Regional Planning in 2005.
The survey indicated that the average funeral service package during that time was P25,000.
On the other hand, memorial lots in public and private cemeteries cost an average P50,000.
“Funeral services generally are expensive, a stark and difficult reality confronting the large majority of impoverished Filipinos,” authors of the bill explained.
A decent funeral service includes the transport of the corpse, provision of casket, embalming, interment and church services.
According to the authors, the bill was originally filed during the 15th Congress. It was refilled during the 17th Congress but failed to win plenary approval.