Cebu News

Crematoriums to prioritize COVID-19 deaths

Mary Ruth R. Malinao - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Funeral homes in Cebu City have agreed to prioritize the cremation of those who succumbed to the deadly coronavirus.

Councilor David Tumulak said the city government and the funeral parlors agreed on this during yesterday’s meeting.

“The funeral homes will give priority to COVID deaths,” he said.

Tumulak said it was also agreed with the funeral parlors to impose a cap on cremation fee, which now ranges from P15,000 to P17,000 from the usual P20,000.

“Nagkasabot sad diri sa mga punerarya, nga karun naa man sa kalisdanan ang atong mga katawhan, naa lang tay limit pud og pila say ipabayad ra. Kay nasuta man gud nato gud naay uban magpamahal. Nihangyo ta sa mga punerarya nga ayaw ninyo palabi-i kay naglisod pa ang panahon, unya inyo pang ingun-anaon,” he said.

Moreover, the councilor said family members of those who died from other causes (non-COVID deaths) will be asked to bury their loved ones.

“Ang katong dili COVID, ila na gyud ipalubong dili na ipa-cremate,” he said.

It was earlier reported that crematoriums are also struggling to accommodate the dead.

Already in this state before, the city has once again found itself in a situation where its cemeteries and crematoriums could not seem to keep up with the pace at which the bodies arrive.

Councilor Joel Garganera, Emergency Operations Center deputy chief implementer, earlier said that when someone requests for cremation service now, it won’t be accommodated until after next week.

Tumulak said per the City Health Department (CHD), there are available cemeteries in the mountain barangays which could be utilized for the immediate burial of city residents who passed away.

This is one way to resolve the issue on lack of spaces at cemeteries.

“Wa man gud ta’y laing choice. Kini ra man gyud existing nga menteryo sa atong kabukiran maoy kabutangan sa atong mga mahal sa kinabuhi,” he said.

“Nagkinahanglan lang ta sa pagsabot, kay di man gyud sad available ang atong mga menteryo pud diri sa city proper nato. Ug kini sad atong ipanglubong, ang uban ani di man sad ni COVID-related death,” he added.

Tumulak said there are also the so-called “home deaths,” wherein the persons died in their respective homes.

He said the CHD assured that they will really look into and investigate on the next of kin or relatives as to the cause of death. Following such, doctors would determine if it is either suspected COVID or not. — Dianah Rule Salinguhay, CNU Intern, KQD (FREEMAN)

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