Cebu News

House OKs affordable casket bill

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The House of Representatives has approved on second reading House Bill 102, which seeks to provide affordable funeral services to indigent families and extremely poor individuals.

The proposed measure of Deputy Speaker Duke Frasco of the fifth district of Cebu aims to alleviate the burden carried by grieving Filipino families, especially those living in abject poverty.

If passed into law, the measure would compel all funeral establishments to make available at all times funeral services with a price of not more than P20,000 to the family of a deceased indigent. The amount should already include the casket, funeral and mortuary services, and other related services.

Under the proposed bill, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is mandated to monitor and regulate the prices of funeral services. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is likewise urged to extend funeral or burial assistance to qualified applicants.

Frasco said his legislation touches upon the life of every Filipino. With the cost of dying in the Philippines exacerbating the situation of many Filipino families who are burdened with the unconscionable funeral expenses, he believes that a legislative intervention is necessary.

Frasco was prompted by his experience while serving as town of Liloan to push for the said measure. According to him, he often encountered families who could afford to pay the funeral services for their departed loved ones.

He said that more than the regulatory intention of his bill, it is also a matter of social justice. Frasco said that passing the Affordable Funeral Service Act, the dignity of every Filipino is upheld, no matter the income class, and equitable access to affordable funeral services is assured, alleviating the pain and sorrow that inevitably comes with death.

Therein lies the great injustice that the State must correct, if it is to uphold its duty, to protect the human dignity that every Filipino is entitled to, in life and, in death, he said. — /FPL (FREEMAN)

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