July 15, 2024

Benguet Rep. Eric Yap and three other lawmakers recently filed a bill that seeks to grant 50 percent discount on funeral services to indigent families.
Yap, together with Reps. Paolo Duterte of Davao City and Edvic Yap and Jeffrey Soriano, both of ACT-CIS party-list, also proposed free funeral services to extremely poor families nationwide.
The lawmakers said the concept of family is central to Filipino culture and the death of a family member is commemorated with the practice of certain rituals and traditions. 
“The funeral provides an opportunity for families to properly grieve the loss of their loved one. Further, it serves as an avenue for them to pay respect to and honor their relationship with the deceased,” the bill said. 
In its explanatory note, the bill stated death comes with debt as some argue that the cost of passing away is just as costly as living for many poor families.  
“Evidently, many poor families find paying for funerals difficult, even impossible for some. While they have to cope with grief and loss, they also struggle to find the means to pay for proper memorial services. The cost of funeral and burial services (usually starting from P10,000) burdens the family financially. In order to pay for proper memorial services, some are left with no choice but to borrow money from lenders who sometimes take advantage of their grief and immediate need to put on high interest rates,” the bill explained. 
The bill seeks to institutionalize the provision of burial assistance by granting a 50 percent discount on funeral services to indigent families and free funeral services to extremely poor families nationwide. 
These poor families can avail of the free or discounted funeral services upon submission of certificate of indigency, death certificate, and funeral contract between the beneficiary-family, the accredited mortuary, and the authorized Department of Social Welfare and Development personnel. 
The funeral services will include the preparation of funeral documents, embalming, viewing, interment or burial services, cremation and inurnment services, including the provision of a casket or urn, as the case may be, offered by accredited mortuaries. – Harley F. Palangchao